Would you contemplate leaving your home country to pursue a new challenge? That’s exactly what Columbus Eagles FC midfielder Lila Remache did. She left her quaint hometown of Taverny, France, at a young age to pursue new exciting challenges in the United States.
Remache played for a club known as Cosmo Ermont before transferring to FAS Herblay in the women’s French Second Division. Before she made it to the second division Remache recalls a unique training process that took place during her younger years. A process that made her a physical player, but also technically sound.
“I played with a boy’s team until I was U-15,” Remache recalled. “I was playing with guys until that age because we didn’t have a women’s team at the time. The only one we had was approximately 30 minutes to an hour away from my house.”
Despite being smaller than the boys on the club, Remache was able to focus on her technical ability. She recalls training sessions becoming physical, so she adapted, learning to cover the ball more, and working out of tight spaces.
“That was probably the best summer of my life to be honest,” she said of the experience. “I think it made me tougher. I went through two ACL surgeries and I thought about stopping football at some point, but I got back out there and had a really good coach when I was playing for my hometown and he was like ‘just get back at it, go play with the women’s side.’
We were in the regional level, went to the second division in France. That’s when I was going through high school and I decided to come out to America.”
The French footballer accomplished more than most people her age and was poised to embrace a bigger challenge by moving to an entirely different continent.
With the support of her family, Remache made the long trip to the United States. She admits that it was “a bit scary at first,” but the young athlete was excited to come to a different country, play the sport she loved, and have the traditional American college experience.
Remache would tell you that it wasn’t always easy. She often spent time reflecting and contemplating her decision to be so far away from home. “I think at the time I didn’t realize how big it was for me to step away from Mom and Dad and all my siblings. As soon as I did it I was like, ‘Oh what did I do?’”
She made trips home every Christmas and almost every summer to remedy the homesickness. Every trip home reminds Remache of her tremendous support system.
“[Mom and Dad] always supported me and made sure I had all the support that I needed when I was playing and going through college here,” said Remache. “It was awesome.”
The midfielder settled into her role into the world of football in the United States, but little did she know it required another adjustment. During her time in France, Remache became accustomed to a different style of soccer.
“Back home we don’t really care how fit you are,” recalled the midfielder. “If you can play 90 minutes, play on the ground and a technical game, you are pretty much good. Here in the U.S. it’s about being fit and working the long ball up and down the field.”
Remache didn’t have to make many adjustments throughout her college career. Both of her collegiate teams, Auburn-Montgomery and Martin Methodist, had an international flair about them. She recalls having teammates anywhere from the Australian National team to the German National team and everywhere in between.
Reflecting on her collegiate playing career, she said, “it was nice to blend all of these soccer styles together.”
The midfielder since moved on in her career and found her way to Capital University on Columbus, Ohio where she is a graduate assistant coach for the women’s soccer team. It was here where she met former Capital Crusader and current Columbus Eagles defender Monique Hanayik. Both players developed chemistry and Remache eventually reached out to the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) franchise requesting a tryout.
She made her debut during a February indoor friendly in Cincinnati, Ohio, and looks to be a fixture in the Eagles gameday lineup for some time to come. Remache made her outdoor debut for the Eagles on April 7th. After the game she was elated.
“I really enjoyed it,” said the midfielder. “I think we all had a good time finally getting into 11-on-11 opposition. We had a hard time on the field which wasn’t the best quality, but we all had a good time. A couple touches were not there but we are just getting better and improving every day.”
The Eagles begin the 2018 season on the heels of a franchise-best finish, and are not only talking about repeating the performance, but have their eyes on a WPSL National Championship. With players like Lila Remache on the squad, that might not be flawed logic.
Author's note: This article originally appeared as a work of mine on April 20th, 2018 via International Soccer Network. It has been added here in an effort to reach a broader audience and to talk more about Women's Soccer.