Where Is She Now?
Akers retired as a player shortly after the 1999 World Cup, opting out of the 2000 Olympics. She is pursuing a medical career and recently began a physician's assistant school in Florida following a stretch as a technical assistant to the former women's national team doctor. She had intended to play for the Orlando franchise of the newly formed women's pro league, the WUSA, in its inaugural 2001 season, but withdrew, citing a shoulder injury. The franchise moved from Orlando, Akers' hometown, to North Carolina.
Akers founded a sports ministry, Soccer Outreach International, in 1997. She belongs to the FIFA Soccer Committee, the NSCAA Women's Subcommittee, and the Sports Outreach America board and teaches at soccer camps. She also lent her name to a high school girls soccer tournament whose 20-year run was in danger after such corporate sponsors as Burger King and Target had withdrawn. It has been renamed the Michelle Akers Soccer Classic, held at Lake Mary High School, near Orlando.
In a commentary for USA Today, Akers, in advance of the 2003 World Cup, warns against the "flameout" that beset her defending champion team in the mid-1990s. "Coach April Heinrichs will need to take it down a notch or this could be a repeat of 1995," she wrote. "By the time the World Cup came in '95-the player roster pretty much remained the same from the '91 squad-overwhelming demands from team sponsorships, player endorsements, media and an outrageous game and travel schedule drained everyone…. There are danger signs of this happening at the 2003 Cup."
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