|Full name||Michelle Anne Akers|
|Date of birth||February 1, 1966|
|Place of birth||Santa Clara, California, U.S.|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Forward|
|1992||Orlando Lions Women|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Michelle Anne Akers (born February 1, 1966) is an American former soccer player who starred in the 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup and 1996 Olympics victories by the United States. At the 1991 World Cup, she won the Golden Shoe as the top scorer, with 10 goals.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The 1996 Summer Olympics—based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States—marked the first time that women participated in the Olympic association football tournament. The tournament featured eight women's national teams from four continental confederations. The teams were drawn into two groups of four and each group played a round-robin tournament. At the end of the group stage, the top two teams advanced to the knockout stage, beginning with the semi-finals and culminating with the gold medal match on August 1, 1996.
The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF. The United States women's national soccer team recently just won the 2019 World Cup for the 4th time by defeating Netherlands 2-0.
Akers is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.She was named FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2002, an award she shared with China's Sun Wen. In 2004, Akers and Mia 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.
FIFA Female Player of the Century was a one-off award created by the global governing body FIFA to decide the greatest football female player of the 20th century, announced at the annual FIFA World gala, held in Rome on 11 December 2000. American player Michelle Akers and Chinese player Sun Wen were joint winners of the award. Michelle Akers won the award based on votes from FIFA officials, journalists and coaches, while Sun Wen won the award based on the Internet poll.
The China women's national football team, recognized as China PR by FIFA, is governed by the Chinese Football Association. The team is colloquially referred to as "Zhōngguó Nǚzú".
Sun Wen is a retired Chinese professional football (soccer) player. She previously captained the China women's national football team and the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA).
Akers is a member of the (U.S.) National Soccer Hall of Fame; she was inducted in 2004, along with Paul Caligiuri and Eric Wynalda.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame is a private, non-profit institution established in 1979 located in Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The Hall of Fame honors soccer achievements in the United States. Induction into the hall is widely considered the highest honor in American soccer.
Paul David Caligiuri is an American former soccer player who played as a defensive midfielder.
Eric Boswell Wynalda is an American soccer coach and television commentator and retired player. He was formerly an analyst and color commentator for soccer coverage on Fox Sports 1 and ESPN. He is currently head coach and technical director of the Las Vegas Lights FC and was previously host of WTF: Wynalda Talks Football on SiriusXM FC.
Born to Robert and Anne Akers in Santa Clara, California on February 1, 1966, Akers grew up in the Seattle, Washington suburb of Shoreline, where she attended and played soccer for Shorecrest High School.She was named an All-American three times during her high school career. At 5 feet 10 inches (179 cm) in height and 150 pounds (68 kg), Akers had an imposing physical presence on the soccer field and was noted for her aggressive and physical style of play.
Santa Clara is a city in Santa Clara County, California. The city's population was 116,468 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the ninth-most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Located on the southern coast of San Francisco Bay immediately west of San Jose and 45 miles (72 km) southeast of San Francisco, the city was founded in 1777 with the establishment of Mission Santa Clara de Asís, the eighth of 21 California missions. The city was later incorporated in 1852. The mission, the city, and the county are all named for Saint Clare of Assisi.
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 744,955 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area's population stands at 3.94 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.
Shoreline is a city in King County, Washington, United States, 9 miles (14 km) north of Downtown Seattle bordering the northern Seattle city limits. As of the 2010 census, the population was 53,007, making it the 20th largest city in the state of Washington.
Akers attended the University of Central Florida on a scholarship where she was selected as four-time NCAA All-American.She was Central Florida's Athlete of the Year in 1988–89, was the all-time leading scorer in UCF history, won the Hermann Trophy in 1988 as the nation's top college soccer player, and had her #10 jersey retired by the school.
The University of Central Florida, or UCF, is a state university in Orlando, Florida. It has more students enrolled on campus than any other U.S. university.
An All-America team is a hypothetical American sports team composed of outstanding amateur players. These players are broadly considered by media and other relevant commentators as the best players in a particular sport, of a specific season, for each team position.
The Hermann Trophy is awarded annually by the Missouri Athletic Club to the United States's top male and female college soccer players.
Akers was a member of the 1985 United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) for its first-ever game, at a tournament in Italy in August 1985. Due to an ankle injury, she did not play in the first game. However, in the U.S.'s second-ever international game, she scored the first goal in the history of the program, in a 2–2 tie against Denmark.
The 1985 United States women's national soccer team was the first United States women's national soccer team to play international matches. The team played four matches in Jesolo, Italy, at the Mundialito tournament, losing three and drawing one of the matches.
The Denmark women's national football team represents Denmark in international women's football. The team is controlled by the Danish Football Association (DBU).
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. In 1990 and 1991 she was named the Female Athlete of the Year by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).Akers was also the lead scorer in the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup in China in 1991, scoring ten goals, including five in one game. This led the U.S. women's team to the first women's world championship, defeating Norway 2–1 in the final. Akers scored both U.S. goals in the final.
After the 1991 World Cup, she shifted from striker to central midfielder, in part to minimize the beatings doled out by opposing defenders. Despite the precautions, Akers suffered a concussion and a knee injury early in the 1995 World Cup, and was hampered by the knee in the U.S.'s semifinal loss to Norway.
In 1996, Akers was again a member of the U.S. women's national team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where it won the first ever gold medal in Olympic Women's Soccer. She played with a torn medial collateral ligament in the holding central midfielder role, anchoring the team's defense, dominating in the air, and playmaking out of the back to maintain possession and generate goal-scoring opportunities. After the tournament her knee required reconstructive surgery for the third time. 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, FIFA’s highest honor in the global game of soccer, for her contributions to the game of soccer on and off the field; she was the first woman ever to receive it. Akers again was a leader and member of the 1999 Women's World Cup team, where the team won their second World Cup championship. Despite playing with a dislocated shoulder, caused by a fan in the quarterfinals,she was awarded the Bronze Ball of the tournament by FIFA.
Shortly before the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Akers retired from the game due to injuries incurred before and during the 1999 FIFA World Cup. She was the U.S. national team's second all-time leading scorer (behind Mia Hamm) with 105 goals, 37 assists and 247 points.
Michelle Akers competed as a member of USA teams in three FIFA Women's World Cups, China 1991, Sweden 1995 and USA 1999, and one Olympics, Atlanta 1996. She played in 18 matches and scored 13 goals at those four global tournaments.Akers was a gold medalist at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and world champion at the China 1991 and USA 1999 World Cup tournaments. Team USA with Akers finished third at the 1995 World Cup.
|Key (expand for notes on “world cup and olympic goals”)|
|Location||Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred|
|Lineup||Start – played entire match|
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time
|Min||The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.|
|Assist/pass||The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.|
|penalty or pk||Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)|
|Score||The match score after the goal was scored.|
|Result||The final score.|
|aet||The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation|
|pso||Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time|
|Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament|
|Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament|
|Gold medal match|
|1999-07-04||Palo Alto||Start||80 pk||2–0|
0–0(pso 5–4) (W)
From 1990 to 1994, she was married and was known as Michelle Akers-Stahl.Later she married again (2003–2007) and had a son in Orlando, Florida. As of 2011, she resided near Atlanta, Georgia, with her son Cody on a small farm doing horse rescue and animal welfare work.
Since her retirement from the USWNT in 2000, she has also continued to promote the game of soccer as a spokesperson, advocate, and leader on various platforms.
Brandi Denise Chastain is an American retired soccer player, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold-medalist, coach, and sports broadcaster. She played for the United States national team from 1988–2004. In her 192 caps on the team, she scored 30 goals playing primarily in the defender and midfielder positions. She scored a World Cup-winning penalty shootout goal against China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final.
Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra is an American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Hailed as a soccer icon, she played as a forward for the United States women's national soccer team from 1987–2004. Hamm was the face of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, where she played for the Washington Freedom from 2001–2003. She played college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels women's soccer team and helped the team win four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship titles.
Tiffeny Carleen Milbrett is an American retired professional soccer forward who was a longtime member of the United States women's national soccer team. In May 2018 the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Milbrett will be enshrined in the Hall. A native of Oregon, she starred at the University of Portland where she scored a then school record 103 goals during her career. She won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta and a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She also played in three World Cups, winning in 1999. A player who enjoys signing autographs for her fans, she is in the top five all-time in the United States national soccer team in three offensive categories.
The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's international governing body. The competition has been held every four years since 1991, when the inaugural tournament, then called the FIFA Women's World Championship, was held in China. Under the tournament's current format, national teams vie for 23 slots in a three-year qualification phase. The host nation's team is automatically entered as the 24th slot. The tournament proper, alternatively called the World Cup Finals, is contested at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about one month.
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in Guangdong, China from 16 to 30 November 1991. FIFA, football's international governing body selected China as host nation as Guangdong had hosted a prototype world championship three years earlier, the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament. Matches were played in the state capital, Guangzhou, as well as in Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The competition was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated, maker of M&M's candy. With FIFA still reluctant to bestow their "World Cup" brand, the tournament was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup.
Kristine Marie Lilly Heavey, née Kristine Marie Lilly, is a retired American soccer player who last played professionally for Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She was a member of the United States women's national football team for 23 years and is the most capped football player in the history of the sport gaining her 352nd and final cap against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. Lilly scored 130 goals for the United States women's national team, behind Mia Hamm's 158 goals, and Abby Wambach's 184.
Birgit Prinz is a German retired footballer, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year. In addition to the German national team, Prinz played for 1. FFC Frankfurt in the Frauen-Bundesliga as well as the Carolina Courage in the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's league in the United States. Prinz remains one of the game's most prolific strikers and is the second FIFA Women's World Cup all-time leading scorer with 14 goals. On 12 August 2011, she announced the end of her active career. She currently works as a sport psychologist for the men's and women's teams of 1. Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Mary Abigail Wambach is an American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. A six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, Wambach was a regular on the U.S. women's national soccer team from 2003 to 2015, earning her first cap in 2001. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals. Wambach was awarded the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first American woman to win the award in ten years. She was included on the 2015 Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world.
April Dawn Heinrichs was among the first players on the United States women's national soccer team, and was captain of the United States team which won the first ever FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991. She finished her international playing career with 46 caps and 35 goals. Heinrich coached the USA women's team from 2000 to 2004, under her tenure team USA finished third in 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, won silver medal at Sydney 2000, and gold medal at Athens 2004 Olympics. In 1998 she became the first female player inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In January 2011, Heinrichs was appointed Technical Director for women's soccer by United States Soccer Federation.
Briana Collette Scurry is an American retired soccer goalkeeper and current assistant coach of the Washington Spirit. Scurry was the starting goalkeeper for the United States women's national soccer team at the 1995 World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics, 1999 World Cup (champions), 2003 World Cup, and the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. She played in the semi-final and playoff for third place in the 2007 Women's World Cup. She was a founding member of the WUSA, playing three seasons as starting goalkeeper for the Atlanta Beat (2001–2003).
Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra, née Carin Jennings, is an American retired soccer forward. She earned 117 caps with the United States women's national soccer team from 1987 to 1996 and was awarded the Golden Ball Award as the best player at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. In 2000, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She currently coaches women's soccer at the United States Naval Academy.
Carli Anne Hollins is an American soccer player. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time FIFA Player of the Year, and a three-time Olympian. She currently plays for Sky Blue FC in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States women's national soccer team as a midfielder. Lloyd scored the gold medal-winning goals in the finals of the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She captained the United States to victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, as well as appearing in the 2007, 2011, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Lloyd has made over 280 appearances for the U.S. national team, placing her third in caps, and has the fourth-most goals and seventh-most assists for the team.
Tisha Venturini-Hoch is a former American soccer player and current National Spokesperson for Produce for Better Health. She is a gold medalist in 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and a world champion in 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup held in the U.S.
Kelley Maureen O'Hara is an American soccer player who is a FIFA Women's World Cup champion and Olympic soccer gold medalist. She plays as a wingback and midfielder for the United States women's national soccer team, and a forward and right defender for the National Women's Soccer League club Utah Royals FC. As a forward for the Stanford women's soccer team, she was the recipient of the 2009 Hermann Trophy. She majored in science, technology and society with a focus in environmental engineering.
Amy Griffin, née Allmann, is a former American soccer player and was a member of the United States women's national soccer team that took home gold in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. She is currently associate head coach at the University of Washington and a goalkeeper coach for the United States under-20 women's national soccer team.
The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup was the seventh FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international women's football world championship tournament. The tournament was hosted by Canada for the first time and by a North American country for the third time. Matches were played in six cities across Canada in five time zones. The tournament began on 6 June 2015, and finished with the final on 5 July 2015 with a United States victory over Japan.
The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final was a women's association football match that took place on 5 July 2015 at BC Place, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to determine the winner of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. It was played between Japan and the United States, in a rematch of the 2011 final. The stakes were high for both sides: if the United States won the match, it would be the only country to have won in three Women's World Cup finals; if Japan had won instead, then it would be the first football team, men's or women's, to win twice under the same coach since Vittorio Pozzo led Italy to victory in the 1934 World Cup and the 1938 World Cup. Ultimately, the United States won 5–2, winning its first title in 16 years and becoming the first team to win three Women's World Cup finals.
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