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OL Reign’s Celia headed to Lyon for nine-month loan

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The Spain international is expected back in Tacoma in July.

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OL Reign and Spain international fullback Celia Jimenez Delgado is headed to France for the next nine months, with the team announcing today that she has been loaned to sister club Olympique Lyonnais of Division 1 Féminine through June, where she will be reunited with former Reign forward Jodie Taylor. A second-year Reign player, Celia finishes her 2020 Reign season with four appearances – two starts and two as a substitute – in the NWSL Challenge Cup.

“I appreciate the Reign making it possible for me to pursue this opportunity with OL,” said Celia in a team release. “This experience will support my desire to continue learning and growing as a player. I am grateful for this opportunity and know it will make me a more impactful player for OL Reign when I return to the club in 2021.”

Many NWSL internationals have sought loans or transfers to Europe this year. In addition to potentially getting more playing time than can be offered by the NWSL Fall Series, travel restrictions, quarantines and ongoing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic have made transcontinental travel for national team games difficult. Celia has 23 caps for the Spain women’s national team, including appearances at the last two World Cups. Spain is currently in the midst of qualifier matches for Euro 2021, sitting atop Group D with 10 points through four matches.