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Canadian defender Vanessa Gilles joins French powerhouse Lyon on loan

Canadian international defender Vanessa Gilles has joined French powerhouse Lyon on loan from the NWSL’s Angel City FC.

The loan comes with a Lyon option to purchase the 26-year-old Ottawa product’s playing rights.

In coming to Lyon, Gilles joins the club that used to be home to Kadeisha Buchanan, her partner at centre back with Canada. Buchanan moved to England’s Chelsea in July after 5 1/2 years at Lyon.

Gilles fills a void for Lyon, which lost French international defender Griedge Mbock to a knee injury suffered earlier this month in a game versus Greece.

“Unfortunately I will not be able to finish the season out with the girls at @weareangelcity and help with the final push for playoffs,” Gilles stated in a social media post.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make to leave midseason, especially without being able to properly thank you all for helping us feel right at home in L.A. and making every home game feel so special. However being able to sign with Lyon and live out every competitor’s dream of playing in Champions League and competing for trophies is something I could not let pass by.”

Gilles has won 22 caps for Canada, including 19 starts, and was part of the gold-medal team in Tokyo.

The move marks a return to France for Gilles, who joined Angel City last December in a transfer from FC Girondins de Bordeaux, where she had played since July 2018. Gilles played collegiate soccer at the University of Cincinnati, joining League1 Ontario team West Ottawa SC before signing in early 2018 with Apollon Ladies FC of the Cypriot First Division.

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