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Early Bird 2017
Courtesy: Shane Lardinois
Payne Signs Professional Contract with Ajax
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/03/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s soccer senior Toni Payne has signed a professional contract with AFC Ajax, which is a Dutch squad based in Amsterdam.  Payne will join the club in May following the completion of exams.  

“I am very excited to join Ajax for the rest of their season as well as next season,” said Payne.  “I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to play with such a strong and competitive club.”

Payne, a native of Birmingham, Ala., is coming off a standout career with the Blue Devils where she tallied 23 goals, 21 assists and 67 points over four years.  She started 86-of-90 matches at both the midfield and forward positions.  Payne’s 21 assists ranked tied seventh on the Duke record books and finished her career with six game-winning goals. She became just the sixth Blue Devil to register 20 goals and 20 assists over her career.  

The 5-4 speedy forward was taken with the No. 13 overall selection in the NWSL College Draft in January by FC Kansas City.

“Although I am grateful to have been drafted into the NWSL by Kansas City, playing overseas is an experience that I have always wanted.  “When the opportunity came with Ajax, I wanted to travel and tryout for the team,” commented Payne.

A 2016 All-ACC first team and 2015 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team honoree, Payne helped lead the U.S. U-23 squad to the Women’s Nordic Tournament championship in England this past June.  She also was a part of the U.S. U-23 team to the Istria Cup title in Croatia in March of 2016.

Ajax was formed in 2012 and finished in second place last year in the Eredivisie division.  So far this season, Ajax is unbeaten in its first 18 matches and leads FC Twente by nine points with just four games left in the season.  

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