Lindsey Horan is excited about the investment Michele Kang could bring to Olympique Lyonnais.

Kang, who already owns the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, is set to become the majority owner of the Lyon women’s team. In an interview with Pro Soccer Wire, Horan said that she’s met Kang “many times” and called her “amazing.”

“And I think her aspirations and the things that she’s doing in the world are insane,” the Lyon midfielder said. “She’s not just saying things to say them, or to hope that it could happen, she’s going and making them happen. What she’ll do with Lyon is going to be absolutely incredible.”

As she prepares to take control of the club, Kang has been vocal about her goals, which include building the women’s team its own training center. Kang also is exploring the possibility of repurposing a local rugby venue as the team’s home stadium.

Not many women’s teams have their own training facilities or their own stadiums. The NWSL’s Kansas City Current opened their own training complex in 2022, and they are in the process of building the first women’s soccer-specific stadium.

“Our team isn’t just attached to the men’s team,” Horan told Pro Soccer Wire. “Our team is in itself its own. To see some of these teams around the world now having their own training facilities, having their own stadiums — that’s what they deserve.

“We women work just as hard and we’re professionals just as much as the men. So at least we should have our own training facility. We should have all access to the things that we need, that I’m pretty sure most men’s clubs get, and to have our own stadium would be incredible as well.”

Lyon is set to kick off the UEFA Champions League group stage at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday. The six-match group stage runs through the end of January, with 16 teams divided into four groups. Lyon is in Group B with Austria’s St. Pölten, Norway’s SK Brann and the Czech Republic’s SK Slavia Prague.

Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang has big goals for women’s soccer.

After acquiring a majority stake in the Spirit in 2022, Kang is set to take control of the Olympique Lyonnais women’s team within the next month. And she expects to add at least one more team to the fold by the end of the year, with the eventual goal to own at least one team on each continent, she told ESPN.

“Women’s soccer around the world needs investment,” Kang told ESPN. “It’s not just the U.S. For us to take women’s soccer to the next level — Europe, Asia, South America, Latin America — they all need to come up. I wanted to accelerate that trend.”

By focusing on women’s soccer teams as independent businesses, rather then sharing identities and operations with men’s teams, Kang believes she can change the game.

Take performance training. Kang wants her clubs to train “women as women,” tailoring programs to their physiology rather than copy-and-pasting approaches from men’s sports. Women’s soccer has seen an alarming number of injuries in the last year, particularly ACL tears, yet research specific to women athletes is rare.

Dawn Scott, who joined the Spirit last November as senior director of performance, has held similar positions with the U.S. and England women’s national teams. She raised the alarm over the lack of research soon after joining the Spirit, and she is leading a group of 14 employees with the Spirit to bring a fresh approach to the team.

Kang sees in Scott’s performance staff the potential for ideas and tools that could be shared across all the teams in her new women’s soccer organization.

“We’re going to create some sort of an innovation lab,” Kang said. “It’s going to be dedicated, the staff and everything else, toward the Spirit. To some extent, because we started (with) the Spirit, this is going to be where we start developing most of the things. All the methodology, training methodology, all that stuff will be shared. Staff will go back and forth and will train the trainers.

“Other teams will have their own team (of staff) and we will localize. We’re not just going to say one size fits all, but here is some basic science, basic technology, things that have worked. Let’s customize it to make it work. There are some differences in European-style football vs. American, so we’re going to customize the fundamental science, technology, research. It will be all shared and then we’ll figure out how to spread those methodologies so that everyone can benefit from what we are investing in.”

Kang also has plans to build training facilities. For Lyon, that means creating a facility dedicated to the women’s team to take the place of the current facility shared with the men’s team. For the Spirit, that will mean building a permanent training facility by 2025 or 2026, a luxury for a team that has spent years bouncing between venues.

“The idea is that the same design will be transported to Lyon for the women’s team,” Kang told ESPN. “Whatever team, we will clearly have to customize a little bit, but the idea is that level of training center, performance center is going to be made available for every team under our umbrella, so if you walk into Spirit or Lyon, the training center will look the same inside and they’ll have access to the best technology, best equipment, best medical care, nutrition.”

While Parsons told ESPN he is “100% all-in” on focusing on the Spirit, and that nothing will change with the new club being under shared ownership, he came on as coach with the knowledge of what Kang hoped to build.

“What Michele has also done is made clear that this isn’t just two clubs — there will be more clubs,” Parsons said. “I knew that before I joined — not which clubs and which countries, but this is the model, this is the vision.”

While certain best practices will be shared, each team will have its own identity.

“I want to make sure that each team is champion in its own country,” Kang said. “We’re not sacrificing one team for the benefit of another. We’re going to give everything and anything that each team needs to be successful. They’ll maintain their own identity, fandom — those are all very local, not central, or global.”

Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang will oversee a new women’s soccer organization that will include her NWSL club and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.

She sees in the merger an opportunity to make both clubs “stronger,” she told the Washington Post after the announcement of the new venture Tuesday afternoon. She also attempted to assuage any fears Spirit fans might have.

“I want to make sure that they understand, this is not taking anything away from the Spirit,” Kang said. “This is to make every team even stronger by pulling some of the resources, but local identity, local investment will continue to remain strong.”

Kang reached an agreement with Olympique Lyonnais leadership to form the women’s soccer organization, with Kang as the majority owner and CEO. The group plans to expand to include multiple women’s clubs around the world, The Athletic reported.

The move comes a little more than 13 months after Kang officially acquired majority stake in the Spirit in March 2022. The new organization will be the first woman-owned, multi-club organization of its kind, the Washington Post reported.

“This is not just about the Spirit. This is not just about OL. This is about bringing women’s soccer to that level so that young girls growing up all around the world can see it and be inspired and say, ‘I’m going to go into professional soccer,’” Kang said.

OL Groupe, which holds controlling interests in the Lyon women’s and men’s teams as well as NWSL club OL Reign, was acquired by U.S. businessman John Textor in December.

In April, OL Groupe announced its plans to sell OL Reign but denied a report that Kang would purchase the Lyon’s women’s team. With the new organization, Kang will hold a 52% stake in the women’s team, while OL Groupe will hold the remaining 48%.

The decision to sell OL Reign came before Kang’s involvement, Kang told The Athletic, and not due to the potential conflict of interest from a connection to two different NWSL teams. Still, the plan is to have a “clear firewall” in place between Kang and the OL Reign during the sale, she said.

The merger of the Washington Spirit and Lyon into one organization is not yet official, with an anticipated closing date of June 30. Still, Kang is already making plans. The teams will maintain separate identities and local infrastructure, but the umbrella organization will allow for centralized infrastructure and support, she said.

“We will invest in the tools, resources and communities for each team to win their respective championships, season after season, while respecting the history and culture of each club,” Kang said in a statement.