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Nicole Payne joins Asisat Oshoala in US

Reigning CAF Women’s player of the year Asisat Oshoala made a sensational switch from FC Barcelona to Bay FC. Another Nigerian player, Nicole Payne has now joined the US train.

American soccer club Portland Thorns FC have secured the signing of Nigerian defender Nicole Payne from French club, PSG.

The 23-year-old, who represents the Super Falcons, returns to the United States after a brief stint in Europe with the French powerhouse PSG.

Payne’s transfer was announced by PSG on their official channels, confirming her move to Portland Thorns FC on a season-long loan.

Nicole Payne
Nicole Payne signs for Portland Thorns FC

During her time at PSG, Payne made four appearances for the Division 1 Féminine champions before deciding to make the move back to the States.

She will wear the Portland Thorns FC jersey until December 31, 2024, under the terms of the loan agreement, with an option for the deal to become permanent.

Prior to her European venture, Payne showcased her talents in the collegiate soccer scene at the University of Southern California, where she featured prominently with three goals in 16 matches.

Before USC, she enjoyed a successful stint at West Virginia University, where she notched four goals and three assists in 53 appearances, including two NCAA Tournament outings.

On the international stage, Payne initially represented the United States at the U17 and U19 levels before opting to switch allegiances to Nigeria, her parents’ home country.

Payne became Oshoala’s international teammate when she made her debut for the Nigeria Women’s National Team in June 2021 against Jamaica. She now has seven caps for the Super Falcons.

Additionally, Payne featured for Nigeria at the 2022 Women’s African Cup of Nations held in Morocco, where the Super Falcons relinquished their continental title to South Africa.

Payne celebrates after scoring in Sevilla Feminino Andalusia Cup final win
Nicole’s sister Toni Payne plays for Sevilla.

Nicole is the younger sister of Toni Payne, a midfielder for Nigeria and Sevilla who like Oshoala, was part of the Super Falcons squad to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

READ ALSO: OFFICIAL: Nigerian star joins Bay FC from FC Barcelona

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