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Athletics The Scholar-Athlete

Vive Le Football!

Alumna Plays Pro Soccer in France

By Liviu Bird | Photos by Andrew Towell (left) and Copyright FCMETZ

Megan Lindsay As a Falcon (left) Megan Lindsay ’13 was top scorer in the Great Northwest Athletic conference with 12 goals during her senior year. Now she’s putting goals in the back of the net for FC Metz Algrange (above, far left).

Since graduating from Seattle Pacific University in 2013, Megan Lindsay’s professional soccer career has spanned three countries. It’s also endured a work-visa crisis. Lindsay expected to return to the team Kokkola Futis 10 in Finland after attending a friend’s wedding in Seattle in September 2014, but she couldn’t get back into the country after a trans-Atlantic flight.

Despite issues in Finland, she quickly found a contract in France — and is now enjoying playing for FC Metz Algrange in Division 1 Féminine, the highest-rated women’s soccer league in Europe.

“Some things fell through; one of them was the work visa that I was supposed to have after three months of living in Finland,” she says.

For a professional soccer player, frequent travel and a lack of job security are common. “It was unfortunate,” she says, “but I can’t say I regret it or I am upset about it because it actually was kind of a blessing in disguise.”

Immediately upon landing in New York, Lindsay discovered her agent hard at work, negotiating with other teams. Her statistics at Kokkola — 16 goals and six assists in 18 games — made her a desirable player for teams needing an attacking boost. (She also scored five times in 10 games for UMF Stjarnan in Iceland the previous season.)

Even before her contract expired, Metz had shown interest. With her agreement in Finland nullified, she jumped at the opportunity to play in a top European league.

“The level is fantastic,” Lindsay says. “The caliber of players that are able to play in this league is phenomenal. It’s definitely an upward trajectory.”

Her path to the pros started at SPU, which has a long tradition of players moving on to the next level. Besides playing her way to third on the all-time SPU scoring chart with 41 goals, Lindsay listened to stories from former teammates who went pro in Europe, including Jocelyn Charette ’11, and spoke with then-head coach Chuck Sekyra about her possibilities.

“I didn’t really think about it until my senior year. After that, I talked with Chuck, and he kind of sparked the whole intrigue of going overseas,” Lindsay says. “I knew I didn’t want to just stop in college.”

In the town of Metz near the German border, Lindsay takes French lessons between practices and games against some of the best women’s soccer players in the world. She shares an apartment with Lindsay Elston, who played for University of Washington while Megan was at SPU.

“French is actually coming along OK. It was hard the first two weeks, I would say, because the whole team only speaks French on the field, so I needed to pick it up really quickly,” the former Falcon says. “They’ve been so welcoming.”

At some point, Lindsay wants to play professionally in the United States. The National Women’s Soccer League kicks off its third season in April, and she has already earmarked two franchises as ideal locations.

“My goal that I set for myself — since I left — is to return, to the NWSL. I really want to play for the Seattle Reign or Portland Thorns,” Lindsay says. “That would be a big dream for me. I think the level is very similar to the best teams in France. But it all depends on where it takes me.”

Regardless of where she plays, she is appreciative of where the game has taken her.

”I feel kind of blessed to be in this position,” Lindsay says. “I’ve found basically my dream job right after college, and not that many people can say that right after they graduate. It’s been a great, crazy, wild ride.”