Wednesday 05 June 2019, 07:51

A kind of homecoming for USA’s Horan 

  • USA star Lindsey Horan played for Paris Saint-Germain for over three years

  • She is heading back to her former home at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

  • The 25-year-old had some French tips for her national team colleagues

By Erin Fish with USA

USA midfielder Lindsey Horan will soon return to what she calls her “second home” - the beautiful city of Paris, France.

While most young soccer players in the US grow up dreaming of a college scholarship to play the game they love, Horan’s ambition was a little different. She wanted to play professionally in Europe - a dream her regional coach at the time told her would never be realised.

Horan had the option to play college soccer. At the time she was verbally committed to play at the University of North Carolina - one of the most prestigious schools in the history of the women’s game.

But just as she was set to begin that four-year program in 2012, the then 18-year-old pulled out of the scholarship and became the first female athlete from the US to sign a professional football contract right out of high school. The club she signed it with was none other than Paris Saint-Germain.

Lindsey Horan during her time with PSG.

Horan is not the only USWNT player with roots in Paris though. In her second year with PSG, she was joined by Tobin Heath, whom Horan cited as her idol. After “fangirling” over Heath at first, the youngster eventually became close friends with her heroine.

With USA set to play Chile in the French capital in their second match at France 2019, the former PSG pair – who now turn out together for Portland Thorns in the NWSL – only wish that they had a little more time to sample some of their old favourites.

“Tobin and I said that we would just like to go back to the city that we lived in,” said Horan. “We had these little Mexican and Indian restaurants that we wanted to go back to, and seeing my old apartment would be cool.”

From not knowing any French when she arrived in Paris, Horan picked up on some essential terms and phrases during her three years in France that she believes her USA team-mates should know

“'Excusez-moi' and ‘Non, je ne parle pas Français’ - I don’t speak French,” Horan laughed. “Even just ‘Bonjour’. Try a little bit. French people do appreciate that.”

But while returning to France, and Paris in particular, is sure to stir some fond memories for Horan, her focus is solely on the job in hand: ensuring USA retain their trophy.

“I’ve really been thinking about [the World Cup] a lot,” Horan said. “It’ll be cool to go back to Paris. It is my second home. But my focus is just on the World Cup and what we’re trying to accomplish in France.”