Embarks On Pro Career
In 1989, Akers met pro soccer player Roby Stahl and they married within six months. Shortly after the honeymoon, she left for Sweden to play for the semi-pro club Tyreso, in the first of three stops with that team. In 1991 came the World Cup in China. Akers scored 10 goals in that tournament. "I fell into a fantasy world—a quick engagement, a house, a wedding, a World Cup. It all happened too fast," said Akers. People frequently mispronounced the hyphenated name—the lack of publicity women's sports received at the time didn't help. "Once a P.A. (public-address) announcer at a game introduced her as Michelle Aerosol," says longtime national squad teammate Julie Foudy. "Another time I was at a camp and someone said, 'Oh, you play with that girl … um … Michelle Anchor-Steam!' Yeah, right, Mich is a beer." However, Akers' life "turned upside down" shortly thereafter, Kelly Whiteside wrote on the Sports Illustrated-CNN Web site. The Epstein-Barr virus hit full force, producing chronic fatigue, and in 1994 she and Stahl filed for divorce. "But amid such traumatic events, one thing has remained constant: Akers's status as the best woman player in the world," Whiteside wrote.
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