Michelle French Named Head Coach for the
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
Washington Youth Soccer alum will prepare U.S. women
for 2014 FIFA U20 World Cup in Canada
Washington Youth Soccer player and coach Michelle French earned one of U.S. Soccer’s top coaching honors in February when she was named head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team.
The former head coach of the Seattle Sounders Women, and a former USWNT player herself, French will join U.S. Soccer Technical Director April Heinrichs, Development Director Jill Ellis, Women’s Head Development Coach April Kater and U.S. Under-17 WNT Head Coach B.J. Snow as the technical staff of the USWNT.
“The opportunity to lead the best young players in the country as they continue their journey to compete at the highest level with the full National Team is an honor and something I’ve been aspiring towards for several years,” says French. “There is a passion, responsibility and honor that comes with working for U.S. Soccer, and I truly couldn’t be more thrilled to have this opportunity.”
French’s own journey began in the Puget Sound region, where she was born and raised, starring at Seattle’s Kennedy High School and for various Washington Youth Soccer affiliate clubs before embarking on an All-American career at the University of Portland.
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For more, check out these exclusive interviews with new U.S. U-20 Women's Coach Michelle French!
A silver medalist for the USWNT at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, French played three years in the WUSA and four more as a member of the Seattle Sounders Women. Since 2005, she has grown into one of America’s top coaches, earning a USSF National “A” License and working as an assistant coach for several U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams, and the collegiate programs at UCLA and Washington. She has also won multiple State Championships as a coach at Eastside FC, has coached Washington Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) squads, and led the Seattle Sounders Women in 2012.
“Over the last 10 years, Michelle has coached at the club level as well as every level of our youth national team programs,” says Heinrichs. “While serving as assistant coach to our U-18 Youth National Team these last two years, she has demonstrated that she is one of the brightest coaches in America. She understands the international game, values the technical level of today’s game, is tactically nuanced, knows the physical demands, and as a former Women’s National Team player, is capable of assisting youth players in fine-tuning their strengths, while improving their weaknesses.”
To read the full transcript of French’s interview with U.S. Soccer, click here!