New Portland Thorns FC signing Amandine Henry is regarded as one of the game's top players, recently named a candidate for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year and to the FIFPRO Women's World XI in 2015 among her many recent accolades.
The French international will join the club upon the conclusion the 2015-16 season with France's Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon). Amandine talked about her move to play in the United States, her desire to play in Portland and what she knows about the Rose City in this Q&A.
You have spent your entire professional career in France. What was it that made you want to make the move to the United States?
AH: I was lucky to win all with the great French club Olympique Lyonnais. I had the desire to have a new challenge in my life. The United States is the country of women's football. And I am feeling so excited and lucky to have the opportunity to discover another football and then to progress. As well, it is going to be a great experience in my life. I absolutely wanted to try and experience [playing in] the United States before the end of my career.
What are you looking forward to the most about playing in Portland? What have you learned about the city so far?
AH: To meet my teammates, my coach, the staff and all the fans. I really cannot wait. And to discover the city of Portland.
About the city, thanks to my research on the internet, I know that it is a city where people are happy to live. A welcoming and peaceful city. And it is the City of Roses, with all of the rose gardens. My favorite flowers are red roses. I will then feel like a fish in water in Portland and inside the club. :)
What impact are you hoping to make with the team both on and off the field?
AH: On the field, I hope I will bring a little French touch, bring my knowledge in football and help the team as much as I can. I hope as well to learn from my teammates and my coach. The football in U.S. is very physical with a lot of athletic duels. In France it is more technical. Then I hope I will progress. I am very happy to have the opportunity to discover a different culture. I think I have a lot to learn also of American culture regarding the mental aspect [of the game], very important.
Off the field, I want to discover how the team is living and organized. To share good moments and memories with everyone, developing friendships. And LEARN ENGLISH.