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Akers joins Heinrichs as winners of WAGS Award of Excellence.

MISSION, Kans. (Friday, January 12, 2000) -- Former United States women’s star Michelle Akers has been named the second recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Women's Committee Award of Excellence, an honor sponsored by the Washington Area Girls Soccer League.

Akers, who retired from international competition prior to the 2000 Summer Olympics, joins U.S. women’s coach and former captain April Heinrichs as a recipient of the award which will be presented next week at the NSCAA convention in Indianapolis.

A member of the U.S. national team since 1985, Akers recently was named "Female Player of the Century" by world governing body FIFA. These were the latest honors in a career that includes 153 full international appearances, two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal.

With 105 goals, Akers in one of four players to eclipse the 100-goal mark. In the 1991 inaugural women’s world championship, she claimed the Golden Boot as the most prolific goal-scorer in the tournament with 10. In 1999, she played a critical role as a central midfielder for the U.S. which captured the Women’s World Cup title.

Akers will play for the Carolina Tempest in the new Women's United Soccer Association.

A graduate of Shorecrest High School in Seattle, Akers competed collegiately at Central Florida where she received a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and health. In her All-American career at UCF, she was the first woman to win the Hermann Award, previously just given to men. She is a three-time U.S. Soccer Federation "Female Player of the Year" and a two-time U.S. Olympic Committee "Female Athlete of the Year."

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