Growing up, Claire Emslie never expected to be playing full-time professional soccer.
“I just played for the love of it and thankfully it got me here today,” the Angel City FC and Scotland forward told The Equalizer when she sat down this week to talk about her journey to Los Angeles, and the current National Women’s Soccer League season.
Emslie, now 29, grew up playing soccer in her backyard with her big brother in Scotland. Her father always had games playing on the television. In 2012, Emslie made the decision to head across the ocean to attend Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she played Division-I college soccer.
“To be honest, at the time I didn’t have an option to go pro in Scotland,” she says now. “It wasn’t a professional league and the English league actually wasn’t all full-time professional yet, either. So, for me it was either go to college and just play club football for fun or go to college in the States and get a degree and play full-time college sports. For me, that was something a bit more exciting. And then at the end of those four years, obviously the game had developed a lot in the UK so I was able to go pro after that.”
Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long
Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.