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TUKWILA, Wash. (May 1, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team legend Michelle Akers will visit the Washington Youth Soccer State Cup weekend May 10-11 at Starfire Sports. Akers, a Washington native named by FIFA as the Female Player of the Century, captured two FIFA Women’s World Cup championships and an Olympic gold medal during her illustrious career. Akers has resided in Georgia since her retirement, and is looking to return to the Washington soccer community to help motivate and inspire today’s young soccer players.
Akers will hang the championship and silver medals for the Under-15 through Under-18 Girls State Championship and Challenge Cup finals, be available for two autograph sessions and a media session, host a youth clinic with Seattle Sounders Women and speak during an open seminar to Washington Youth Soccer players, parents, coaches, referees and administrators. The schedule of events can be found below.
Akers grew up in Shoreline and won several Washington Youth Soccer State Championships, two US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships and was twice a runner-up at the US Youth Soccer National Championships. Akers was also a member of Washington Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP), now called Elite Player Development (EPD), and earned High School All-American honors three times.
After her youth career, Akers moved on to the University of Central Florida where she was a four-time NCAA All-American and won the prestigious Herman Trophy.
A pioneer in women’s soccer worldwide, Akers was a member of the first U.S. Women’s National Team game ever played in 1985, and won the Golden Boot as the leading scorer in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 as she led Team USA to the trophy by scoring both goals in the championship match. Akers also helped guide the U.S. team to the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup title and the 1995 bronze medal, the 1996 Olympic gold medal, and was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 1998 for her contributions to the game of soccer.
Akers finished her 14-year international career in 2000 with 153 appearances, scoring 105 goals and 36 assists, and was named to the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Washington Youth Soccer State Championships are part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship competition in the country. Winners of the State Championships will earn a place in the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships June 16-22 in Albuquerque, N.M., where state champions from the 14 western states will square off to advance to the National Championships.
Likewise, the Washington Youth Soccer Challenge Cup is part of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, designed for those teams seeking additional challenges to play against teams of similar abilities for a national title. The cup provides a progressive, competitive experience to teams that might not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in a series of unique experiences highlighting competition, camaraderie and community from the state to regional to national levels of US Youth Soccer. Champions from the Challenge Cup first divisions will advance to the US Youth Soccer Region IV Presidents Cup June 11-15 in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Michelle Akers Appearances
Schmetzer’s Sporthaus Autograph Session
Friday, May 9 | 6:00-7:30 pm
Schmetzer’s Sporthaus Green Lake
7806 Aurora Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
Washington Youth Soccer State Cup Autograph Session
Saturday, May 10 | 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
14800 Starfire Way
Tukwila, WA 98188
Starfire Parking Fee: $5
Washington Youth Soccer Media Session
Saturday, May 10 | 3:00-4:00 pm
For media credentials, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounders Women Skills Clinic with Michelle Akers
Saturday, May 10 | 2:00-3:00 pm
Starfire Sports Pavilion Field
Free for U-10 through U-16 Girls
Clinic is full
Washington Youth Soccer Seminar
Akers to address players and coaches
Sunday, May 11 | 3:30-4:30 pm
Starfire Sports Stadium Field
Open to the public