World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Julie Foudy named NSCAA Honorary All-America
Each year, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America presents the Honorary All-America award to someone who has brought particular distinction to the game of soccer through their efforts within and beyond the boundaries of the sport.
This year is no different, as Julie Foudy, former U.S. Women’s National Team captain, Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion, has been named the 2013 NSCAA Honorary All-America for her contributions on behalf of the sport.
“I am honored to be recognized alongside some of the best to have ever played the game, and most importantly, who have given so much and continue to give back to the game,” Foudy said.
NSCAA CEO Joe Cummings added: “So much can be said about Julie Foudy’s influence on women’s soccer in the United States. Not only has she chronicled a successful career on the field, but has also continued to give back to the game that has helped shape the incredible person she is today.”
Foudy first came to national and international recognition as a midfielder for the U.S. National Team from 1987 to 2004. During that 17-year span, Foudy played in four FIFA Women’s World Cups (winning in 1991 and 1999) and competed in three Summer Olympic Games (winning two gold medals in 1996 and 2004, and one silver in 2000).
Speaking of the coaches that have had the greatest impact on her, Foudy said “Anson Dorrance built our foundation as a national team. He made us believe the United States could be a soccer power when no one else in the world thought we could win a World Cup. Then, Tony DiCicco brought a constant smile and joy to the game, while layering in a sophistication with our play that ensured we would remain dominant.
“Finally, April Heinrichs showed us that it is possible to both win a World Cup as a player and then an Olympic Gold Medal as a coach. She will forever be a pioneer and role model for women who have played and want to stay in the game as coaches.”
Foudy’s presentation and receipt of the Honorary All-America award correlates with the 40th anniversary of Title IX legislation enactment, which has opened the door for millions of women and girls (athletes and otherwise) around the country the opportunity to not only compete in sports but in any education program.
“Thanks to Title IX more women like myself and the millions and millions now playing, have had an opportunity to experience the gift of sport,” Foudy states. “Soccer and sports helped me find my voice and my confidence. I am forever grateful to Title IX and the women and men who came before me who helped pass this most profound piece of legislation that has helped so many women.”
Though she retired from playing soccer in 2004, Foudy has remained one of the prominent faces of U.S. soccer. She has served as an analyst and reporter for ABC and ESPN affiliates’ coverage of FIFA World Cups, UEFA Euro Championships and Major League Soccer. She also served as a reporter for NBC’s coverage of the 2006 and 2008 Olympic Games.
In the summer of 2006, Foudy, along with husband Ian Sawyers and friends Kerri McClellan, Edson McClellan and Todd Smith, launched the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. The JFSLA is a six-day, five night residential academy for girls aged 12-18 years old that focuses on two components: sports and leadership.
“Soccer is the most wonderful gift in life because it not only helps us become healthy, strong men and women, but equally important it teaches you daily about life—how to be a great teammate, a confident and resilient person, a positive leader on the field and off.”
Foudy will accept her Honorary All-America award Saturday, Jan. 19 during the All-America Luncheon at the 2013 NSCAA Convention.