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Press looks to return home after Champions League campaign
by Paul Kennedy, October 28th, 2013 11:31PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, nwsl, sweden, women's national team


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Christen Press, who led the Swedish Damallsvenskan in scoring with 23 goals in 20 games, says she'll probably play in NWSL next season. The 2010 Soccer America Player of the Year at Stanford  has spent the last two seasons in Sweden and parlayed her success abroad into a regular spot on the U.S. national team. She enters Wednesday's U.S. match against New Zealand in Columbus with 35 goals in 35 games.

Press was the 2011 WPS Rookie of the Year but moved to Sweden after the league folded with the hope of breaking the national team. She was second in scoring with Gothenburg FC with 17 goals in 2012 but moved to Tyreso for the 2013 season.

Tyreso, the 2012 champion, featured such stars as Brazilian Marta, Spaniards Veronica Boquete and Jenifer Hermoso and Swedes Sara Thunebro, Lisa Dahlkvist and Caroline Seger but had to settle for second place behind Malmo in the Damallsvenskan.

Press is one of five Americans on the Tyreso roster for the UEFA Women's Champions League. She'll return to Europe for Tyreso's round-of-16 series against Fortuna Hjorring of Denmark after Wednesday's U.S. friendly against New Zealand.

"I'm going to play out the Champions League season with my team," Press said, "and then after that I'll probably be back in the NWSL. Back in the United States."

Press would go through an allocation process yet to be announced for the 2013 season. In the meantime, Tyreso's fall season was extended when it beat Paris St. Germain, 2-1, on aggregate with both goals coming from Press to advance in the Champions League.

"I think playing on such a strong team in Europe," she said, "there is a lot of expectations to win everything. Not winning the league was a bit of a hit for us. But we are looking forward to the Champions League to have another opportunity to make up for it."

Press has scored 27 goals in 24 games for Tyreso in all competitions this season. On top of that, she has eight goals in 11 games in her first year with the national team. She scored her eighth goal on Sunday in the USA's 4-1 win over New Zealand in San Francisco, where her 80-year-old grandparents saw her play for the national team for the first time.

"Coming from a totally different club environment," she said. "It is a real big adjustment to come into the national team. I don't think there's a team in the world that plays with such speed and intensity. So it's mentally a challenge to come into camp and turn it on. But the team is really welcoming. They've helped me through the process."

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