From soccer star to firefighter in training, Christine Nairn chases another dream

From soccer star to firefighter in training, Christine Nairn chases another dream

Christine Nairn always wanted to be a professional soccer player.

She grew up scoring goals in her backyard alongside two older brothers, also soccer players, and dreamt of her future on the pitch well before the first women’s pro league was founded.

She starred at Penn State, became one of the original members of the NWSL as the seventh overall pick in 2013’s inaugural draft, played in 167 NWSL matches across all competitions and made two international appearances for the senior United States women’s national team.

She found herself within soccer but also found the strength to exist without it, which led the Houston Dash midfielder this week to simultaneously announce her retirement from professional soccer and her new career aspiration: She is joining the Houston Fire Department Academy.

Sunday’s friendly match against Tigres, a 5-1 Dash win, was Nairn’s last. Monday is her first day in the fire academy.

“I don’t think that there was ever going to be a right time to step away from the game,” she said. “Fortunately, my body feels great. I’m healthy, knock on wood. I think I can play for another 10 years, but I think in the back of my mind, I was kind of ready for a new adventure, a new challenge, and kind of searching for that next step. And I think until I had mentally accepted that I was kind of half in, half out.


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