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Lyon sign Rapinoe and Ohno

Tuesday 8 January 2013 17.20 CET
Megan Rapinoe helped the US to Olympic gold against Shinobu Ohno's Japan last summer

UEFA Women's Champions League holders Olympique Lyonnais have signed United States winger Megan Rapinoe and Japan striker Shinobu Ohno as they continue to aim for an unprecedented third straight European title.

Rapinoe, 27, joins on a six-month deal having spent last year with Seattle Sounders and won an Olympic gold medal with the US. The 28-year-old Ohno, a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup winner and 2012 Olympic silver medallist and capped more than 100 times, arrives after two Japanese championship successes with INAC Kobe Leonessa, having previously aided NTV Beleza to eight between 2000 and 2010. She links up with compatriot Ami Otaki.

Rapinoe, one of the highest-profile American players to move to Europe in recent years, said on her Facebook page: "I am pleased to say Lyon will be my home for the next six months! I am thrilled at the challenge of being part of one of the best football clubs in the world."

Ohno, a member of the INAC side beaten 2-1 by Lyon in the final of a friendly tournament in Saitama, Japan, in November, said: "I am very happy to join this great club and I can assure you that I will do my best to live up to the expectations of the club and the supporters."

Lyon have won all 17 of their fixtures this season, including 13 in the French league where they lead ambitious Paris Saint-Germain FC and fellow European quarter-finalists FCF Juvisy Essonne by 11 points as they chase a seventh straight domestic title. Lyon last lost competitively over 90 minutes in March 2010, representing a 102-match undefeated run.

Having already secured coach Patrice Lair and several key players on new contracts this winter, Lyon continue their European title defence against Swedish champions FC Malmö in mid-March.

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