Press Release
Jul 2, 2024

Portland Thorns FC permanently acquire defender Nicole Payne

Portland Thorns FC and Paris Saint-Germain, have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of defender Nicole Payne for an undisclosed fee. Additionally, Payne has signed a new contract with the Club, keeping the Nigeria Women’s National Team outside back in Portland through the 2025 season. 

“We are thrilled to be bringing in Nicole on a permanent basis, she has been a wonderful addition to our team and our Club,” General Manager and President of Soccer Operations Karina LeBlanc said.” Nicole has brought a level of competition to our outside back group which has helped raise the bar for all our defenders. We look forward to seeing how she will continue to impact our club going forward.”

Payne, 23, first joined the Thorns on loan from the French side in February of this year. Since joining the Club Payne has appeared in nine matches for the Thorns, six of them starts. Of the six matches Payne has started, the Thorns have won three of them, earning two clean sheets throughout said matches. 

The defender joined Paris Saint-Germain in July of 2023, and appeared in two matches for the “Rouge et Bleu.” Payne earned her first start on January 20, of this year, helping the team to an 8-1 victory over FC Girondins de Bordeaux. 

Before making the jump overseas, Payne played collegiately for University of Southern California where she scored three goals in 16 matches, 15 of which were starts. Before becoming a Trojan, she spent three years at West Virginia University where she recorded four goals and three assists in 53 matches, while making two NCAA Tournament appearances.  

The Portland Thorns are set to continue National Women’s Soccer League play on Friday, July 5 against the San Diego Wave at Providence Park with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. PT, broadcast live on Amazon Prime.