Also in today’s roundup, Tobin Heath out again for Thorns this weekend and the Washington Spirit partner with Buffalo Wild Wings
Alex Morgan’s hamstring injury is expected to keep her off the field and additional three to four weeks according to a release sent Tuesday by the Orlando Pride. The other part of the release confirmed what was never officially in doubt but was always a source of underlying tension. Morgan is indeed heading back to the Pride after a short-term stay at Lyon.
Morgan’s stay at the French club concluded with a tense victory in penalties over Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) the UEFA Women’s Champions’ League final. However Morgan lasted only 22 minutes in the match before injuring her hamstring. She had hustled to get in shape for the match after originally injuring the hamstring in a league match against PSG. In the interim, Morgan had to sit out the French Cup final, also a Lyon win on penalties over PSG.
When she returns to the Pride lineup, Morgan will be reunited with Marta who was her teammate as a WPS rookie on the 2011 Western New York Flash. That club won both the regular season and playoff championships.
Morgan has now won domestic titles in WPS, NWSL, and the French League plus the Champions League and French Cup along with the World Cup and Olympic gold.
Tobin Heath still out for Thorns, Sykes available
2016 Best XI midfielder Tobin Heath will not make her season debut for the Thorns this weekend as reported by FourFourTwo’s Richard Farley.
Per Mark Parsons, Tobin Heath will not play for @ThornsFC this weekend.
— Richard Farley (@richardfarley) June 13, 2017
Heath injured her back in March and has not played for the Thorns or the U.S. since. She was upgraded to “doubtful” for the Thorns last game before the FIFA break and traveled to New Jersey but was not named in the 18-woman game day roster. At the time Thorns coach Mark Parsons sounded confident Heath would return after the break.
The news is better on Ashleigh Sykes the Australian who was carrying an injury when the Thorns signed her earlier this year. Per Parsons via Farley, Sykes should be available for her NWSL debut this weekend. The club could also have the services of 2nd round pick Savannah Jordan by the middle of the summer. The Florida product originally signed to play for Glasgow but took an injury and recently left the side.
The Thorns, unbeaten in six games, host Sky Blue in a return match on Saturday night at Providence Park.
Spirit partner with Buffalo Wild Wings
The Washington Spirit have partnered with 14 Buffalo Wild Wings franchises across Maryland collectively known as Wings Across America LLC. The agreement is for the 2017 NWSL season.
“We are excited about the opportunity to welcome Buffalo Wild Wings to our game day youth experiences, and thankful for the opportunity to reach so many of their in-store patrons,” Spirit President Chris Hummer said. “Buffalo Wild Wings offers a great atmosphere for Spirit fans throughout the community, and we thank them for helping support women’s professional soccer.”
As part of the agreement, the pre-game Spirit tunnel at home matches will be called the Buffalo Wild Wings tunnel. The halftime mini-games will also be presented by Buffalo Wild Wings. In addition, youth players participating in pre-game tunnel activities will receive a free kids meal redeemable at any of the 14 Wings Across America locations.
“We are thrilled to partner with women’s pro soccer at this exciting time for the sport,” Buffalo Wild Wings Director of Operations Scott Schwartz said. “We are fortunate to have the Washington Spirit in our community, and we look forward to supporting the team and engaging with their great fans this year and in the years to come.”
The Spirit’s next home match is June 24 against the Thorns.