In 2013, you were playing for the German national team and became the only goalkeeper, male or female, ever named FIFA World Player of the Year. When did you know you wanted to come to Portland?
I was here in 2003 for the World Cup. I had a very good impression of Portland, but I only saw it for, like, two hours. I’d played for 12 years in Germany, and I was ready to go somewhere else. I wouldn’t have said I could imagine living in the US, but I could imagine living in Portland. Growing up in Europe, you hear a lot of rumors about the US: they’re superficial, ultrapatriotic. I came to Portland and never felt that. People are very open-minded, well-educated, passionate, and a little bit—in a positive way—weird.
Are you a runner? A hiker?
I run Angel’s Rest, and different trails around Multnomah Falls. I’ve done part of the Wildwood Trail [in Forest Park]. If we have a day off, I head out. I like Silver Falls a lot. I don’t like Multnomah Falls so much because it’s so crowded. I like Mirror Lake and Lost Lake—I’ve done some canoeing on Lost Lake. I’ve also been to the Painted Hills [in Eastern Oregon]. A lot of what I like about Portland is the nature stuff, but I’m trying to do more cultural things as well.
What advice would you give other newcomers?
Talk to people. Listen to people. I’ve had so many random conversations with random people, and they’re always so interesting. I think people make it very easy for newcomers in Portland to discover the city. Everyone has recommendations, so it always comes back to, “Hey, what do you like? What do you want to see?”