Starfire Sports, a non-profit corporation dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and empowering youth participation in soccer, today announced the addition of Michelle French as the newest member of its soccer training staff. As a former three-year pro player with the WUSA and a 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team, French brings an elite level of skill and knowledge that will be shared with area youth looking to advance their own soccer careers.

French, a Seattle-area native, will be an integral part of the Starfire Sports training staff, and will focus on furthering the development and implementation of Starfire individual and team training programs. These training programs, based on the United States Soccer Federation’s youth development training guidelines, are being augmented by Starfire to include Dutch technical and European attacking and training concepts. This training curriculum, coupled with premier trainers and specialized training fields and aids at the Starfire Complex, form the basis of the innovative upcoming team training program being offered by Starfire. The season long program will be available to area youth teams beginning in March of this year. French will also instruct at Starfire Sports individual classes and camps held throughout the year, beginning February 20th 2004.

“We are very fortunate to be joined by a local player who has reached the pinnacle of the game and has coached at renowned programs such as the F.C. Portland Soccer Academy (founded by the late Clive Charles) and UCLA. Growing up and attending John F. Kennedy high school in Burien, I believe that Michelle can identify with the goals of area youth and help guide them to the same level of achievement,” said Chris Slatt, chairman and CEO of Starfire Sports. “Michelle embodies everything that is good about the sport and reflects our commitment to provide the very best instruction for all youth. We are extremely proud to have retained a person of her caliber and experience.”

As an inaugural member of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), French stared as a defensive player for the San Jose CyberRays and Washington, DC Freedom. In 2001, as a co-captain of the Washington Freedom, she started 20 of 21 matches and ranked third on the team in minutes played. As a collegiate, she was named a finalist for the MAC Herman Award and an NCAA First-Team All-American capping an illustrious four year career at the University of Portland where she made three Final Four appearances. Also as an amateur, French served as Captain of the Under-21 National Team and played in four Youth World Cup Championships.

“Throughout my professional and amateur soccer careers I’ve been associated with a number of team training and outreach programs and have strived to be a role model for future players,” French said. “It’s fulfilling for me to come home to the Northwest and work with Starfire Sports in building world-class soccer programs from the ground up. I’m looking forward to bringing my passion and excitement for the game to the Starfire training programs.”

Most recently, French served as an Assistant Coach for the UCLA women’s soccer program and has been instructing at the Clive Charles F.C. Portland Soccer Academy. She has also been involved with AMERICA SCORES, a national youth outreach program that is partnered with Starfire Sports, as well as a number of WUSA team camps and clinics. ESPN recently utilized French as a Technical & Tactical TV Assistant for the Women’s 2003 World Cup.

About Starfire Sports

Starfire Sports is a non-profit organization providing the opportunity for all youth to experience the positive impact of team sports through soccer programs at the premier soccer tournament facility on the West Coast. The organization operates a 54-acre family soccer complex in Tukwila, WA, which will include a state-of-the-art athletic center and outdoor stadium. The soccer complex provides a platform for Starfire’s training and outreach programs and a place for youth and adult teams throughout the region to play. For further information on the company, please visit

For more information contact:

Mark Winward

Starfire Sports

206.431.3232 ext203

Jeff Pecor

Barokas Public Relations