Lindsey Horan signs reported six-figure deal with PSG

Jeff Kassouf July 15, 2012 23

In an unprecedented move for a women’s soccer player, forward Lindsey Horan has signed a six-figure contract with French club PSG and foregone her previous commitment to NCAA powerhouse North Carolina, her club, the Colorado Rush announced on Sunday.

Horan was slated to begin her freshman year of college this fall at North Carolina on a full scholarship. The U.S. U-20 midfielder is considered by many to be the top recruit of the Class of 2012.

Horan trained with French powerhouse and European champion Lyon this past fall for two weeks, but it is PSG – fourth place finishers in France’s Division 1 Féminine this year – who have snatched up the young scoring sensation as part of a larger push by the club to establish itself among Europe’s elite.

“I am elated for her,” Colorado Rush technical director Erik Bushey said in a statement. “This has been a dream of hers since I can remember. Her hard work has paid off. She is deserved. By her taking a path that is less traveled, she has opened a door for others to follow. She is a good role model for our younger Rush players with the same aspirations.”

Horan has two goals in three games played with the Rush’s USL W-League team this season.

The move may come as a concern to those around the U.S. already concerned about a mass export of American players to Europe due to the uncertainty and instability of women’s soccer in the U.S. The fact that a club like PSG is willing to dish out a reported six-figure contract to an 18-year-old won’t help those folks sleep any easier tonight.

Could Americans moving abroad become a trend as European club teams continue to build better teams? If dollar signs light up in players’ eyes, it sure could (to be clear: That is a reference to current pros, not a knock on Horan). Because one thing is for sure: There isn’t a club in the U.S. right now that would come anywhere close to matching that type of salary.

Related: U.S. U-17 captain Morgan Andrews switches her college commitment from Boston College to Notre Dame. (Top Drawer Soccer)

  • Great for her! Already an outstanding player for her age. Maybe some of their possession style will rub off on her. Instead of just focusing on the money maybe look at how this could boost her development in ways that might not be done by the standard path here. 

    • Random

      This —->  “look at how this could boost her development in ways that might not be done by the standard path here”

  • Roguetshirt

    Well, good for her. It must be nice to be PSG right now, its clubhouse having been replaced with what I can only assume is a literal pit of money.

  • It’s great for her, but what does it mean for US soccer. Are our best women players going to spend their careers abroad now?

    • momara4u

       Without a decent domestic professional league that’s exactly what they’ll do.

    • Omri

      Look at the WNBA – a large number of players join European and Asian teams during the off-season, and sometimes don’t return to the WNBA right away when the next season starts due to the commitment to finish out a season. Our best women players aren’t paid nearly enough, so they have to seek out additional opportunities even with an existing and well-respected top-flight league.

      And as Irma Fernandez points out in another comment above, the development of our young talents in leagues abroad should serve to bolster the ranks of the national team with experienced professionals in the absence of a top tier domestic women’s league. Look at how happy everyone is for Michael Bradley on his move to AS Roma. Check out the number of legionnaires in the current lineup of the USMNT – does playing abroad detract from the quality of our national side? I think most, if not all, would agree it only strengthens it.

      Finally, one can’t dismiss the fear that the quality of players in our domestic leagues may decline if this continues as a trend for young players, but the professional league is currently non-existent anyway. Are we really decrying the lack of quality in a league that was so quick to collapse despite the recent national attention to women’s soccer following the USWNT World Cup performance, including growing recognition of several high-profile players?

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  • That’s awesome. She’ll get to experience a new culture and get paid quite a bit to play a game she loves. I hope it works out. 

    For those arguing about how it hurts USA Women’s Soccer; what else is she supposed to do? WPS is no more, and top flight women’s soccer in the USA is non-existent at the moment. I hope another women’s league resurfaces in the USA, but I still like this move. Hopefully she does well and can be a good role model for young girls in this country. 

  • Very much happy for her. The US has done nothing but break hearts with its inability to have a good league. Move to Europe if you can. At the end of the day, they’ll still be wearing a US crest on their chest during international play.

  • Jay

    The problem is anytime a women’s league has started here, it’s all been about making money.  If they can’t make money it’s not going to exist.  PSG knows they aren’t going to make money anytime soon off their women’s squad but they are doing it extend their brand.  It helps that PSG is backed by rich Middle Easterners that don’t care about short term money making.  I’m not saying anyone is in the wrong here, it’s just the way it is.  

  • Its time for women CEO’s in Corporate America to step up and sponsor women’s soccer in the big time. There’s plenty of money available,   now its time to spend it to help all women.

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  • bullsear

    I don’t think we have to worry about too many women leaving our shores for European clubs and big money–not with the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules coming into effect soon. Clubs like PSG won’t be able to cut big checks like this for long, and the new women’s pro league which was just announced in the US will help make the case for young women to stay home.

    • Steglitz49

      If you believe that you believe anything. UEFA would dearly love more money into the ladies’ game, not less. They might go after clubs that run up big debts and then have local government pay them off at the end of the season.

      Ms Horan was unusual in that PSG shelled out for someone so young.

    • Steglitz49

      I make this a separate comment. It could be argued that by paying for 6 or 7 players per team from a central fund, this new league is breaking the spirit of the game. Just like the Qataris or Lyon’s or Arsenal’s men’s team make money available to their ladies’ sides, so in this case three national federations are interfering in the free flow of players.

      Other countries complained during the Olympics that the USWNT had an unfair advantage because their players were able to play together for long spells which the players for non-US (and non-Canadian) NTs could not because of club commitments.

      Nevertheless, I think a strong US women’s league will be welcomed around the world because once it is established, it will offer another opportunity for players to move about.

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  • Miranda

    I do not think that their is too much to worry about. The United States has something that know other country can claim. We are the freakin USA. People want to live here.

  • That six figures melts away to five quickly under French Tax Law….and don’t forget that the USA is the ONLY country in the world that taxes it’s expatriates abroad. US Citizens are basically US Government property. SLAVES.

    • The 75% tax goes only for those who earn more thant 1 Million Euro a year, so not an Horan concern, besides, this law has not even passed yet.

    • randomhookup

      Here’s the rule from the IRS: If you qualify, you will be eligible to exclude up to $95,100 annually in foreign wages.

      I think she’ll be okay. Reports say she is probably making around $60k plus some education money.