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Michelle Akers
Personal information
Date of birth February 1, 1966 (1966-02-01) (age 43)
Place of birth Santa Clara, California, United States
Playing position Midfielder/Forward
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985-2000 United States 153 (105)
† Appearances (Goals).

Michelle Akers (born February 1, 1966 in Santa Clara, California) is a former leading American association football player and played in the historic 1999 Women's World Cup victory by the U.S.. She is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Contents

Early life

Akers was born on February 1, 1966 to Robert and Anne Akers in Santa Clara, California.[1] She grew up in a suburb of Seattle, Washington. She went to and played soccer at Shorecrest High School.[1] She was named an All-American three times while attending that school.[1]

College career

Akers then attended the University of Central Florida on a scholarship where she was selected as four-time NCAA All-American.[1] She was Central Florida's Athlete of the Year in 1988-89, the all-time leading scorer in UCF history,[1] won the Hermann Trophy in 1988,[1] and had her #10 jersey retired by the school.

International play

She played for the first-ever U.S. Women's National team on in August 1985 on the first international trip for the US Women. Due to an ankle injury, she did not play in the first game. However, she played in the second ever international game and scored the second goal in the history of the program against Denmark, in a 2-2 tie.[1]

Akers scored 15 goals in 24 games for the U.S. from 1985 to 1990 before scoring a team record 39 goals in 26 games in the 1991 season alone. In 1990 and 1991 she was named the United States Soccer Federation's Female Athlete of the Year.[1] Akers was also the lead scorer in the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991 in China, scoring ten goals, including five in one game.[1] This led the U.S. Women's Team to the first world championship, by defeating Norway 2-1. Akers scored both goals.

In 1996, Akers was again a member of the U.S. Women's National Team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia where they won the gold medal. She was also a member of the gold-medal-winning, 1998 Goodwill Games team. On June 7, 1998, she was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, their highest honor, for her contributions to the game of soccer. Akers again was part of the 1999 Women's World Cup team, leading to a second World Cup championship.

Shortly before the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Akers retired from the game as the U.S. National Team's second all-time leading scorer (behind Mia Hamm) with 105 goals, 37 assists and 247 points.

After soccer

Since her retirement, she has continued to promote the game of soccer and has written several books, including one that documents her battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.

In 2002, she was voted FIFA's Woman Player of the Century, an award she shared with China's Sun Wen.

In 2004, she and Hamm were the only two women named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living soccer players selected by Pelé and commissioned by FIFA for that organization's 100th anniversary. Also in 2004, Akers was inducted, along with Paul Caligiuri and Eric Wynalda, into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame.

She currently lives with her husband and three-year old child in Chuluota, Florida and just northeast of Orlando, Florida and dedicates herself to rescuing horses.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schafer, Elizabeth D (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P. ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 26–28. ISBN 1-58765-008-8.  

External links

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