SAN JOSÉ, Calif. | Long before professional basketball coined the "Big 3" phrase, the U.S. Soccer Women's National Team had a legendary trio of its own in 1999 when Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy led the Americans to a dramatic World Cup victory. That team, commonly referred to as the 99ers, still carries an influence in the sport today – on and off the pitch.
Players First partner Positive Coaching Alliance is the latest to honor those World Cup winners on the 20th anniversary of the triumph, as Hamm, Chastain and Foudy were selected as the organization's 2019 recipients of the Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement. The prestigious award celebrates positive leadership and impact on youth.
While the 99ers headlined the event and the previous day's youth soccer clinic at Avaya Stadium, they shared the spotlight Saturday night with a handful of Double-Goal Coach Award winners, including Omar Cervantes, Sheriffs FC's Technical Director. Cervantes has brought a "free-to-play" concept to the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs' Activity League and Sheriffs FC (of NorCal Premier). Families don’t incur any costs to participate. And while the focus is on impacting young athletes, Cervantes also works diligently to connect the players' parents together to create an inclusive environment. Stay tuned for a Q&A with Cervantes.
The National Youth Sports Awards also serves as the Positive Coaching Alliance's largest annual fundraising event. A total of $680,000 was pledged to the organization to continue its mission of developing "better athletes, better people." Positive Coaching Alliance’s efforts align with US Club Soccer's Players First initiative, which is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, emphasizing the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helping parents make better choices about where their children should play.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.