presented by

Falknor: 'I've never seen this much talent before'

She’s the new face on the FC Bayern women’s team: Claire Falknor (22). The U.S. U-23 international moved to Bayern from the University of Florida, signing a contract through June 2017. In an exclusive interview, the defender talks about the move, her new team, and learning German.

Interview with Claire Falknor

Welcome to FC Bayern, Claire! How was the change from sunny Florida to wintry Munich?

Well I grew up in Ohio. There’s snow there, even though it’s not as persistently cold as it is here. But I did want something new after all (laughs).

What did your parents say when you told them about your move to Munich?

They were really happy for me. I’m in a part of the world now where neither one of us has been before. And then to go to such a renowned club.  It’s such a great experience for me – and my parents are already planning a visit in March.

How did you react when you heard FC Bayern was interested in you?

I was totally excited. Last spring I played with my team from the University of Florida against Bayern. This team got me excited with the way they play soccer. I’m really thankful to be here now.

Moving to Europe is definitely not an easy step…

Of course it would’ve been easier to stay in the U.S., but I wanted to change, grow as a person. Soccer here is much more technical and tactical than in the U.S., more ball possession oriented, everyone’s good with a ball at their foot – that’s how I want to play soccer.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

I used to play as a midfielder and forward, and in the last few years in central defense. I’m actually not tall enough for the position but I can read the game well, I’m aggressive, and like the physical aspects of the game. Apart from that I like having the ball at my feet.

What are your first impressions of training?

I’ve never seen this much talent before. We do a lot in close spaces in training at high speeds and few touches. You have to think ahead before you get the ball – I have to get used to that first. The coach is great. He has a great rapport with the team and helps me with settling in. I was really well received by the others too.

And how’s your German coming along?

I took German in high school, but I have to admit I never thought I’d need it (laughs). At the moment a dictionary and Gina [Lewandowski] help me out. But all the others try their best too. I think I’ll start taking lessons soon.