Michelle Akers is described by former USA coach Tony DiCicco as “the best woman that has ever played the game,” Michelle Akers looms large in the pantheon of women’s football. The first women's soccer player to gain global fame, she was named FIFA Player of the Century in 2000 and was widely recognized as the world’s best player during her illustrious 15-year international career. Akers, an athlete ahead of her time, joined the national team upon its inception in 1985 and dominated the women’s game with her skill, size, strength, and savvy, scoring the first official USWNT goal, and was the first to sign a shoe-endorsement. She was the leading scorer in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup™ with 10 goals in 6 matches, including the winner in the Final against Norway in Guangzhou, China to make the US the first ever Women's World Cup Champions. She also set a World Cup record by scoring 5 goals in a 7-0 victory over Taiwan and earned both the Silver Ball Award and the Golden Boot, as she led the Americans to their first world championship. The powerful striker was the heart and soul for women’s soccer in America from its very beginnings. “She was a warrior,” said former team-mate and icon Mia Hamm. “She was our everything.” After the 1991 WWC, Akers went on the play in two more FIFA World Cups (95, 99) and added another historic first by earning the first-ever Olympic Gold Medal for the US in women's soccer in 1996 by defeating China 2-1 in front of a sold out stadium of 90,000 fans. In 1999, she played in her final FIFA Women's World Cup once again dominating the field of play with her signature curly mane and relentless warrior mentality helping the US win their 2nd World Cup title in a heart-stopping 2-1 victory over China in The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA. Akers retired from international soccer just prior the 2000 Olympics after an historic 15-year career due to injuries. She finished her career with 105 goals in 153 games. In 1998, just prior to the World Cup in France, she also received FIFA's highest honor, the FIFA Order of Merit, for her positive contributions to the game.
Michelle Akers US National Team #10 1985-2000 Center Midfield/Forward Played for 1st Ever US Women's National Team 1985 Record Goal Scorer FIFA World Cups 10 Goals 153 Caps 105 goals/37 assists/247 points FIFA World Cup Champion 1991, 1999 FIFA Golden Boot Winner 1991 FIFA World Cup MVP 1999 Olympic Gold Medalist 1996 FIFA Merit of Honor 1998 FIFA Player of the Century 2000 Michelle Akers
After retiring, Michelle's passion is focused on horses through her 501c3 public charity, Michelle Akers Horse Rescue & Outreach, Inc. At her 8-acre farm near Atlanta GA, she provides sanctuary, healing, and potentially happy homes to hurting and unwanted horses, as well as, facilitiating community outreach, leadership/personal development, awareness about horses and their herd culture, and connection and partnership between horses and humans To learn more about Michelle, go to www.michelleakers.org