Amy Griffin Helped Pave the Way For Generations to Come
Over a decade before Hope Solo began dominating between the pipes for the U.S. Women's National Team, there was another Washington Youth Soccer alumni doing the same.
Federal Way native Amy (Allmann) Griffin, a Decatur High School alum and veteran of the former F.C. Royals (now Washington Premier), was one of the first American women ever to wear the red, white and blue, traveling with fellow Evergreen Stater (and college teammate) Michelle Akers to play in the inaugural women's world championship, and later in the first FIFA Women's World Cup, held in 1991 in Japan. In addition to being a part of that Cup-winning American squad, Griffin played four years with the U.S. National Team, totaling 24 caps, finishing with a stellar 12-8-3 record and 0.99 goals against average.
Since retiring, her involvement with U.S. Soccer has only increased. One of the first women ever to achieve a USSF "A" license, Griffin has been a member of the U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Staff since 1988, and currently serves on the staff of the U-20 Women's National Team.
Undoubtedly, though, her most famous protege is one she mentored right here at home, as the associate head coach with Lesle Gallimore at the University of Washington. Richland's Hope Solo was a high-scoring forward when Griffin and Gallimore welcomed her to Montlake. By the time she left, she was the best goalkeeper in the world, and well on her way to Olympic gold medals and World Cup glory.
Now, she travels the world during the Huskies' offseason to coach National Team players, or contribute to women's soccer broadcasts on NBC, ESPN and the Fox Network.
I consider myself so fortunate to grow up as a kid when soccer was invisible (in the US) and be able to play in a World Cup, coach in a couple of youth World Cups, and travel to places where people eat, sleep, breath soccer,” she told a reporter in 2012. “Everywhere I go, I know the best way to make an immediate friend is to say or make hand gestures that convey, 'Want to join in and play?' The smiles broaden, the backpacks are dropped and we play....It’s fantastic!”