Christine Nairn

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Christine Nairn
Christine Nairn Training.jpg
Nairn playing for the United States in 2012
Personal information
Full name Christine Marie Nairn
Date of birth (1990-09-25) September 25, 1990 (age 28)
Place of birth Annapolis, Maryland, United States
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Orlando Pride
Number 7
Youth career
Team Freestate Soccer Alliance
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2012 Penn State Nittany Lions 94 (34[1])
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009 Washington Freedom Reserves
2011 D.C. United Women 4 (3)
2012 ASA Chesapeake Charge 3 (1)
2013 Seattle Reign FC 22 (3)
2014–2016 Washington Spirit 67 (14)
2014–Melbourne Victory (loan) 36 (5)
2017 Seattle Reign FC 23 (1)
2018– Orlando Pride 20 (1)
National team
2004–2005 United States U-16
2005–2006 United States U-17
2006–2007 United States U-18
2008–2010 United States U-20 28 (3)
2010–2013 United States U-23
2009– United States 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of August 10, 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of July 20, 2010

Christine Marie Nairn (born September 25, 1990) is an American soccer player from Annapolis, Maryland. She currently plays for Orlando Pride of the NWSL. She previously played Melbourne Victory in the Australian W-League and the Washington Spirit and Seattle Reign FC in the NWSL. She has represented the United States on the senior national team as well as on numerous youth national teams. In 2008, she helped the under-20 national team win gold at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile.

Early life[edit]

Born in Annapolis, Maryland to parents Tommy and Danamarie Nairn, Christine attended Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Maryland where she was all-time leader in assists, goals and points from 2004–2007 and was a four-time Parade All-American. Besides excelling in soccer, she played four years of varsity basketball in high school. She was a National Honor Society member and graduated with Dean's List honors.[2]

Nairn was a three-time All-State selection, an NSCAA/adidas All-American from 2005–08, and the Gatorade Maryland State Player of the Year from 2005–07. She was named Player of the Year by The Washington Post and was an NSCAA/adidas All-South Region selection from 2005–2007.[2][3]

Nairn started playing soccer when she was just four years old competing against her older brothers, Kevin and TJ, in her backyard. After her club coach, Pat Noel, encouraged her to go to an Olympic Development Program (ODP) tryout at age nine, she was accepted in the program. Nairn credits the Maryland ODP program as a very important contributor for her national recognition achievements.[4]

Nairn played club soccer with the Freestate Shooters U-18 team, which won the WAGS Championship and Maryland State Cup in 2004 and the U.S. Club Soccer Championship in 2007. She was also a four-year captain for the Region I Olympic Development Program (ODP) team and won the 2006 Regional ODP National Championship.[2]

In January 2008, during her senior year in high school, Nairn was called up to the United States women's national soccer team and was the youngest member to attend training camp. The same year, Soccer Buzz named her the number three recruit in the country.[2]

Penn State, 2009–2012[edit]

Nairn attended Pennsylvania State University from 2009–2012 and majored in Communications. During her freshman year, she started in all but two games as the team's central midfielder. She scored seven goals and led the team in assists at ten. Nairn recorded three assists in a 4–0 win over then-number 22 Purdue University on November 1 setting a new freshman record and second most in a game. She tallied a point in 10 of 12 games from September 13 to November 1. Nairn earned unanimous All-Big Ten Conference First Team, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Freshman Team honors and was named Rookie of the Year. She was twice named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on October 5 and November 2 and was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List.[2]

As a sophomore, Nairn scored 7 goals and provided 6 assists for 20 points. She was named to the All-Big Ten First Team and NSCAA All-Great Lakes First Team. She started in all 21 games in central midfield leading the team in shots at 73. She scored the second-fastest goal in Penn State history, a strike 63 seconds into the match at the University of Connecticut on September 5. Nairn notched penalty-kick goals in games against the University of Portland, Michigan State University, and Northwestern University. She was named team MVP and to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) First-Team All-Star squad.[2]

During her junior year with the Nittany Lions, Nairn started in 24 of 25 matches in attacking midfield. She tallied three goals and 13 assists for 19 points, earning NSCAA All-American Second Team honors for a second straight year. She garnered All-Big Ten and NSCAA All-Great Lake First Team honors for a third straight year. She tallied assists at Pittsburgh, UCF, and Virginia, capping a four-game point streak and assisted game-winners vs. Ohio State and Michigan State. Nairn provided the assist on Penn State's lone goal in the Big Ten Final against Illinois and scored a dramatic 85th-minute game-winner against Army in the NCAA First Round. Nairn also tallied two assists in a 4–1 victory over number 12 Marquette in the NCAA Second Round.[2]

As a senior in 2012, Nairn earned her first ever Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and first team NSCAA All-American honor. She finished her career with the second highest number of all-time assists in program history and doubled her career goal total (second highest in the conference) with 17 goals. She was one of two players in the 2012 College Cup with double-digit goals and assists. Nairn scored an exciting golden goal against Florida State in the national semifinals.[5]

In 2013, Nairn was one of three finalists for the Hermann Trophy coming in second to University of North Carolina midfielder and future Washington Spirit teammate, Crystal Dunn.[6]

Club career[edit]

W-League: Washington Freedom Futures and DC United Women, 2010–11[edit]

In 2010, Nairn played for the Washington Freedom Futures in the W-League. In 2011, Nairn signed with D.C. United Women in the W-League.[7][8] She made four appearances, scoring three goals and providing one assist notching seven points for the season.[9] She scored twice in a game against the New York Magic leading the team to its first win in franchise history.[10]

ASA Chesapeake Charge, 2012[edit]

In 2012, she played for the NCAA-compliant semi-professional club, ASA Chesapeake Charge, in WPSL Elite. She played in three games and scored one goal.[11]

Seattle Reign FC, 2013, 2017[edit]

Nairn (left) and Jess Fishlock prepare for a free kick during a match against the Portland Thorns on May 25, 2013

On January 18, 2013, Nairn was drafted to the Seattle Reign FC as the seventh pick (first round) of the 2013 NWSL Draft.[12][13] On her signing, Nairn said, "It's a great opportunity, like I said before, to represent Seattle and where I've come from – Penn State, and all the teams I played for before. To represent them on a professional stage is a dream come true. I'm excited to get to work."[14] Nairn scored the first regular season goal for the Reign during the team's first league match against Chicago Red Stars on April 14, 2013 with a diving header on a cross from forward, Liz Bogus.[15] Nairn led the team in assists and was a leading-scorer. She finished the regular season with five assists and three goals.[16] Nairn returned to the Reign for the 2017 NWSL season. She appeared in all 23 matches, having 21 stars. [17]

Washington Spirit, 2014–2016[edit]

On November 20, 2013 the Seattle Reign traded Nairn to the Washington Spirit for the discovery rights to Scottish international Kim Little.[18] In 2014, she scored six goals and took 52 out of 76 corner kicks for the Spirit. In 2015, Nairn scored five goals and recorded two assists. In her third year with the team, the midfielder was voted Spirit MVP for her contributions to the first ever NWSL Championship appearance for the Spirit. She played every match for the Spirit in 2016, starting 18 in the regular season and both post season matches, and scored three goals. Her goal against the Houston Dash on August 18 earned her the NWSL Goal of the Week honors in Week 16. Nairn's most memorable assist of the season came in the semifinal on Francisca Ordega's game winning goal to send the Spirit to the NWSL Championship.[19]

Melbourne Victory, 2014–[edit]

In September 2014, Nairn went on loan to the Melbourne Victory for the 2014 W-League season.[20][21] She returned for the 2015-16 season and 2016-17 season. After taking a season off she returned to the Victory for the 2018-19 W-League season.[22]

Orlando Pride 2018–[edit]

Nairn joined the Orlando Pride alongside Carson Pickett, in a deal that sent Steph Catley to Seattle. During her first season with the Pride she made 20 appearances, of which 13 were starts. She finished the season tied second in assists alongside Marta. She also won the NWSL goal of the week in Week 7 of the season. Her contract option for the 2019 season was exercised. [23]

International career[edit]

Nairn played for the United States U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-20 teams from 2004 to 2010. She played in all six games for the team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile.[24]

She has played twice for the United States women's national soccer team, both against Canada during summer of 2009, debuting on 25 May in Toronto in a 4–0 win, then scoring the winning goal in a 1–0 victory on July 22 in Charleston, South Carolina.[24]

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Location Opponent Lineup Min Assist/pass Score Result Competition
1 2009-07-22[25] United States Charleston, South Carolina  Canada Substituted in 81' (Substituted offLloyd) 89 Lauren Cheney 1–0 1–0 Friendly

Personal life[edit]

In 2017, Nairn came out as gay on her personal blog, "Finding my Euphoria". In her post "What Even is Normal" she stated:

"I am done with living a life that is acceptable to someone else’s standards of “normal”. As a female, it is not “normal” to prioritize your life around a sport. I do. It is not “normal” to only live in an area for 6 months because you have to go to your next season. I do. It is not “normal” to miss holidays with the family because you are playing soccer. I do. It is not “normal” to be gay. I am. It’s not “normal” to not know what you want to do with your life. I don’t. The list goes on and on, but it shouldn’t matter because what even is normal?"[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Graham, Glenn (August 9, 2013). "Seattle Reign's Christine Nairn ready to play in 'home away from home'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Christine Nairn player profile". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Fall 2006 All-Met". Washington Post. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  4. ^ "Christine Nairn: Maryland ODP To National Team Player". Maryland State Youth Soccer Association. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "Christine Nairn's goal saves Penn State's season". Penn State University. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "Nairn Heads to St. Louis for MAC Hermann Trophy Presentation". Penn State University. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Christine Nairn signs with D.C. United Women". DC United Women. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  8. ^ "Nairn joins D.C. United Women". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "2011 DC United Women Stats". USL Soccer. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "D.C. United Women Surge Past New York 3–0". DC United Women. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "ASA Chesapeake Charge 2012 roster". WPSL. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  12. ^ "2013 NWSL College Draft: Reign FC picks U.S.-Capped Christine Nairn, 3 Others". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "NWSL Draft: 1st Round". US Soccer. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "A stop and chat with Reign FC's top draft pick, midfielder Christine Nairn". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  15. ^ "Red Stars, Reign FC end even in opener". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  16. ^ "Christine Nairn". Soccer Way. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  17. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "NWSL's Washington Spirit trades for Spalding grad Nairn". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Midfielder Christine Nairn Melbourne Victory's final international". The Women's. September 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "Melbourne Victory signs third American". Football Federation Victoria. September 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "Victory signs Orlando Pride duo".
  23. ^ "2018 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Christine Nairn".
  24. ^ a b "Christine Nairn player profile". US Soccer. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  25. ^ "U.S. Women Defeat Canada 1–0 To Sweep Three-Game Summer Series". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  26. ^ "Pro soccer player Christine Nairn comes out as gay on her blog".

External links[edit]