Aurélien Tchouaméni: Meet the French soccer star everyone is talking about
Aurélien Tchouaméni, the French soccer player in Washington who was born in the Seychelles, first trained as a football goalkeeper as a child in his native France before playing in Belgium, Portugal and Scotland.
In November 2002, Tchouaméni, then 24, joined the Washington Freedom and the club’s first two seasons in the National Women’s Soccer League were a triumphant journey for the former FC Montpellier goalkeeper.
In 2003, the team won the NPSL’s first title. In the team’s last season, Tchouaméni helped the Freedom reach the semi-final of the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs.
Tchouaméni’s performances earned her the 2004 W-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award. And when Washington named her the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2003-04 season, the French national team goalkeeper was the first player from the U.S. to receive the honor.
Tchouaméni was called up to the France women’s national team for the first time at the end of April, and since then has made 10 appearances for France in 2006 and five appearances for France in 2007. And despite losing her starting role to Amandine Henry as a member of the squad, Tchouaméni has made a remarkable comeback in her return from a broken leg.
“I do think that we can say that the France fans were pretty happy to see me,” said Tchouaméni, speaking to the WUSA after a training session in New Orleans on Aug. 18. “But they didn’t want me to be alone on the field, and I had to play in the midfield.”
Despite missing the entire summer of training, Tchouaméni has made the best possible comeback on the field. And with 11 goals scored in 14 appearances for France,