Angel City Football Club defender Vanessa Gilles is headed to join Lyon in France on loan, the club announced.
Angel City has extended Gilles’ contract through December of 2023 and will retain her rights. She is scheduled to rejoin Angel City for the “balance of the NWSL 2023 season following the conclusion of the Lyon season and World Cup.”
“We’ve been fortunate in our first year to attract world class talent and players like Vanessa,” ACFC general manager Angela Hucles Mangano said. “While her presence will be greatly missed, we feel that by extending her contract through December 2023 and retaining her rights, we are supporting her as a player in what we know is a dream opportunity for her. Angel City is a player-focused club with a holistic professional development approach. We are happy that this arrangement achieves all of this for the clubs and Vanessa.”
Lyon confirmed that there is no option to purchase at the end of the loan.
In a Twitter post, Gilles explained her reasons for leaving:
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to finish the season out with the girls at Angel City FC and help with the final push for playoffs.
“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 LA and making every home game feel so special …
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“However being able to sign with Lyon and live out every competitors dream of playing in Champions league and competing for trophies is something I could not let pass by. I’m incredibly proud and happy to announce that I’ll be at Lyon for the remainder of the European season and I hope all you Angelinos can understand my decision to do so.”
Gilles scored the first regular season goal for Angel City in its inaugural game against North Carolina Courage.
Angel City is currently in seventh place with three games remaining, including consecutive home games Wednesday against Washington Spirit and Sunday against Racing Louisville FC.