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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan has been loaned to French club Lyon through the summer of 2023.

In addition to the loan, Portland announced Thursday that Horan has signed a contract extension with the Thorns through the 2025 season. She has been with the National Women’s Soccer League franchise since 2016.

“Returning to France to play for a massive club like Lyon is a dream come true. I am excited to step out of my comfort zone while hopefully playing a part in winning many trophies for this club while I am here,” Horan wrote on social media. ”I cannot wait to get started.”

Horan, who was also on the U.S. team that won the 2019 World Cup, previously played in France with Paris Saint-Germain from 2012 to 2016. The loan to Lyon runs through June 2023. Horan joins U.S. teammate Catarina Macario on the team’s roster.

“When Lindsey signed her long-term contract with the Thorns in 2020 she came to us to discuss pursuing an opportunity to play in Europe, and we have honored that request,” Thorns general manager Karina LeBlanc said in a statement. “We are thrilled she has signed an extension with the Thorns to offset this loan spell and we can’t wait to welcome her back to Portland after her time abroad.”

Horan, 27, has scored 25 goals with nine assists over her six seasons in Portland. She was named the NWSL MVP in 2018.

With the national team, Horan has 25 goals and 34 assists in 108 appearances. The Colorado native was on the squad that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Voted the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year for 2021, Horan led the national team in minutes with 1,707 over 22 matches. She scored six goals and had five assists, playing as both a defensive and attacking midfielder.

Lyon, which has won seven UEFA Champions League titles, is currently preparing for a French Cup match against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

___

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Arsenal loanee Bellerin IN TEARS after final Real Betis game as team-mates attempt to raise money for permanent transfer

HECTOR BELLERIN was left in tears after playing the final game in his Real Betis loan.

The right-back joined his boyhood club for the season after forcing a move away from Arsenal.

2Hector Bellerin after his last game on loan with Real BetisCredit: AFP

But after 32 games for Betis this season, Bellerin's loan is set to come to and end.

And the emotions were evident as the defender was left distraught on the pitch, well after Betis' last league match against Granada.

They won the game 2-0 with Bellerin helping the Spaniards finish fifth in the LaLiga table.

What's more, Betis also lifted the Copa del Rey - their first trophy in 17 years. 

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Bellerin was consoled by his team-mates after his final match of the season and revealed after his passion for the club.

He said: "All my family supported Betis. Everyone at home followed them, my dad and I were die-hard supporters.

"There's an energy in the stadium that's difficult to describe, it's fantastic. 

"It's wonderful to be able to share the amazing atmosphere with the fans.

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"The supporters here have so much respect for the players, they love football and the club."

Arsenal are believed to be open to selling Bellerin permanently with the Spaniard said to cost around £8m.

Betis' Borja Iglesias is so desperate to sign Bellerin, he tweeted: "Hey! Do we open crowdfunding so that @HectorBellerin stays?'

"How do you see it @aRuibal9?"

Team-mate Aitor Ruibal responded: "It is necessary."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who sent Bellerin out on loan, did not completely rule out welcoming aback the full-back next season.

Arteta said: "Any player with a contractual obligation with us, both ways, is our player and is considered our player.

"Every plan considers that possibility, exists and how they can fit into our team."

2Hector Bellerin spent the season on loan with Real BetisCredit: AFP

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