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Megan Rapinoe to play full 2014 season with Seattle Reign; Lyon contract terminated

Megan Rapinoe will join Seattle Reign FC in preseason after having her Lyon contract terminated. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe will play the entire 2014 NWSL season with Seattle Reign FC, the club announced Monday, returning early from French club Lyon, which has terminated Rapinoe’s contract effective immediately.

She is expected in Seattle’s preseason camp beginning on March 10.

Rapinoe joined Seattle mid-season in 2013 as well after competing with Lyon, who won the Feminine Division 1 title last year and lost in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League final.

“I’ve decided to leave Lyon,” Rapinoe told the Women’s Football Podcast in a pre-recorded interview. “I feel like I can’t really pinpoint one specific reason; I think it’s more sort of an overall happiness and wellness thing. I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had here.”

In the interview, Rapinoe also cites her ability to more easily get into U.S. camp when in the NWSL than with Lyon.

Rapinoe scored five goals in 12 games for Seattle in 2013. Seattle were 0-9-1 before Rapinoe joined them from Lyon on June 23, but went 5-5-2 down the stretch with Rapinoe, including a six-match unbeaten streak.

[Kassouf: Rapinoe’s early return gives Seattle another major boost]

Lyon just lost to PSG on Saturday, snapping a record 87-game league unbeaten streak, and Rapinoe did not feature in the match. A Reign official confirmed that Rapinoe’s early return was in the works well before Saturday.

The announcement means Seattle won’t have to wait for one of their star players like they did last season. Seattle were without both Rapinoe and goalkeeper Hope Solo — due to injury — until June 2013, halfway through the season.

Seattle now have U.S. star forward Sydney Leroux up top, along with Danielle Foxhoven and Japan’s Nadeshiko League Golden Boot winner Beverly Goebel.

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