maintenance. Eugenie Le Sommer: “The United States? My biggest challenge.” sports

She agreed to give us half an hour between surfing session and dinner in a floral shirt. Not selected by Corinne Deacon to face Greece and Slovenia with Blues in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, striker Eugenie Le Sommer opted to take advantage of this enforced layoff to go on vacation to Hawaii. date “Clear your mind and start over until the end of the season”. And this predicament came because he was not selected with the French women’s teamWe took the opportunity to discover his new life across the Atlantic.

What does your life look like in the United States?

In terms of the week and training, it doesn’t change much. It is while traveling. Here, the four- to seven-hour commute is easy by plane with the occasional travel fatigue. It’s almost like taking a flight between Paris and New York every other weekend. Above all, there are significant changes in terms of climate. And that, I had a particular difficulty managing. For example, we played in Orlando or Houston and there, you barely leave the hotel you’re actually sweating.
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There is also strong popular enthusiasm. do you like it ?

it’s great ! We broke the attendance record this summer for the derby against Portland. There were 27,248 spectators in attendance that day. This is only positive. I’ve always said that even when we play in Paris with OL and sometimes get insulted by the fans, I prefer that kind of atmosphere with the people and the noise in the stands on the empty stadium.

I’ve been at OL Reign since June. How did your integration process go?

I was very well received the girls laugh a lot about my accent but they say it’s cute so it’s ok I get on well with it (Laughs). The players were happy that I came and discovered the American Championship. I come from France, I won everything with Lyon, so that was a way of saying ‘Now you will see what football looks like in the States’.

I quickly plunged into the bathroom. Wasn’t it hard to find your directions?

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I am happy with the start of the season, even if it was a little difficult at first. When I arrived, I wasn’t quite ready physically. I lacked rhythm. Then I had to analyze my teammates a lot. In Lyon, every season there are two or three new players that you have to adapt to. It was there twenty-five times at once, so my brain overheated a bit (Laughs). You have to understand the way your teammates play, the tournament, the entire league system…and then the language. In training you don’t have time to say “Eh wait! I do not understand “ Play it live. So it requires additional energy. So yeah, I think this experience is the biggest challenge I’ve faced in the last 10 years.

On Earth, too, things go at a hundred miles an hour…

Yes, it is a more physical and straightforward game. It’s intense from the first minute to the last minute. We don’t have time to roll the ball until we rest. The matches are also more open because the league is very homogeneous. It comes from the fact that the American and Canadian international players are split between the two teams.

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Are there other aspects that differ from what you know in France?

There are differences in the way the matches are played. On the go, we are more free. We only have one or two meals together and after each meal. So we often eat outside, we can order, and we can also go and stay with friends if we want. They really trust the players individually to prepare for the match.

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Is this something you would like to see more of in Europe?

It would be difficult to design the entire American system, but I think we could choose little things. It would benefit everyone. I have had experiences where we were not allowed to leave the hotel. However, just knowing that you can go for coffee downstairs if you want to doesn’t change anything on the pitch and yet it allows players to feel a little more free.

You also play alongside Megan Rapinoe, an icon on and off the court. How is this done on a daily basis?

She’s big ! You treated her well when she came to OL (during the 2013-2014 season). She is very important on the pitch, and in the changing room as well, she is a leader. The players of the other teams and even my players look at her in a way… She’s honestly an amazing girl. She has character and convictions and she strives for that. Despite everything we can say about her, she gets things done.

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Many American players do not hesitate to take a stand on societal issues. What inspires you?

It is true that the players on my team are committed to many reasons: the environment, homophobia, racism… These are topics I hear about every day at the club. Girls know that women’s soccer in the United States is very popular and that they can use their backs to deliver messages. It is true that they are more involved than us in France. I think it also comes from the history of the American Championship. The tournament has been professional since at least 2013, and even before that in a sporadic fashion, while we are still struggling to get professional status for all footballers. So maybe this is less of our priority, but it makes me want and makes me think. I realize that I can have an important voice and that I can deliver a message. Even if he only taught five people, it would already be.

Have you been surprised by American culture since you arrived?

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I came several times on vacation, so I knew a little about the country. But I am still amazed by certain things. When we go shopping, for example, everything is in bulk. Their cereal packets are three times the size of French packets! There’s also the volume of cars, the roads… Sometimes you find yourself on ten lane highways here. Then the buildings. For us, La Défense in Paris is a giant, but they would find it ridiculous. Everything is great here… It’s funny to compare.

Do you see yourself living there for the long term?

I do not believe. It is far from France and it is difficult to reach your relatives with the time difference. Even if I don’t know where I’m going to live next, I still clearly love France and Brittany (Laughs). It’s the family.

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