Šiauliai Gintra team, which is putting the final touches on its lineup before the UEFA Women’s Champions League QR, will have a serious weapon at the tip of the attack.
The team of Lithuanian champions was strengthened by striker Miracle Porter, who came directly from the French top football league. The 23-year-old athletic American represented the seventh-placed Stade de Reims in the league.
The soccer player, who started her professional career in one of the strongest European leagues immediately after studies in the USA, has already had to test herself against the clubs that dictate fashion in the Europe – Olympique Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.
It is interesting that the Reims club achieved a 1-0 victory against the PSG team in the last round of the season. It is true that this meeting did not lead to anything for both teams, because the Paris team had no chance to rise from the second place, while the club represented by M. Porter – from the seventh place. In this match, Miracle appeared on the field after the substitution at the end of the match, while in the meeting against the Champions League winners Lyon, she played the entire 90 minutes.
“There are two clear favorites in France, against whom everyone plays with double energy. It is also obvious that the football players competing in these teams are under the magnifying glass. Generally speaking, there are no complicated combinational systems, the players are simply of high skill, so football is played at the appropriate level. During my stay in this country, I learned to be patient, to listen to comments from which I must learn in order to improve and move forward”, – the newcomer briefly reviewed her first career experience.
Asked to share her first impressions after several training sessions with the new team, M. Porter singled out the essential difference and named what positively surprised her.
“Although I haven’t been in your country for a long time, I noticed from the first training sessions that tougher, more physical football is played here. In France, everything is more based on long passes, players’ speed, accuracy. It’s nice to see that the team is well balanced, there are both young and more experienced players, the coaches have a clear vision that they want to convey to us. It’s also nice that many here speak English, because it makes adaptation a lot easier”, – said the 166 cm american.
The season in France ended in June, so the footballer did not have a long vacation, and when she received a call from an agent about the possibility of joining a team competing in the UEFA Champions League, she did not hesitate for long.
“To debut in the UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest dreams not only for me, but also for many players, and the chance to do it came so quickly and unexpectedly. I am happy that the Gintra club has expressed interest in me and shown the trust that I hope to justify on the court,”, – spoke newcomer.
The striker will make her official team debut on August 8 in the Baltic League match in Estonia against Saku “Sporting”. Later, another match will follow against the Estonian champion Tallinn “Flora”, and on August 18, the start of the UEFA Champions League qualifier against the Finnish champion Kuopio “Kups”.