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Seattle Hires New Coach
Sounders alum Michelle French to lead in 2012

Seattle Sounders Women News Release

Monday, January 9, 2012

TUKWILA, Wash. - The Seattle Sounders Women of the W-League today announce their new head coach. Kent Washington native Michelle French has signed a two-year contract with the club. French is one of the most storied players in the history of women’s soccer from the state of Washington. “Frenchie,” a Sounders Women alum, has accumulated an impressive coaching resume to compliment her success on the pitch.

"I’m looking forward to working with everyone involved in the Seattle Sounders Women’s organization,” French says, “to continue the tradition of building a team of talented and driven athletes who not only love the game, but also take to heart the role they will play in our soccer community here in the Northwest."

Sounders Women General Manager Amy Carnell is pleased with her new hire.“Michelle embodies all the qualities we are looking for in a head coach,” Carnell explains. “Aside from her impressive resume, Michelle truly believes in the potential of women’s soccer in Seattle. Connected at every level of the game, I’m confident Michelle will aid in signing some of the top collegiate players in the country.”

New Sounders Women owner Lane Smith is excited to have Michelle on board. "When Amy let me know we had an opportunity to sign Michelle French as our head coach I was thrilled. From Olympic medalist as a player, to her national coaching experience, Michelle is a perfect fit for the job. “Frenchie” is a great ambassador and role model for women’s soccer and we are looking forward to a very exciting season with her at the helm.”

French already has a game plan to keep the Sounders in a competitive position. "Identifying and signing highly competitive and committed athletes, whether local or located across the country, who display an unwavering passion for the game, will be key to our success moving forward,” the new coach says. “Giving the players a consistent, positive, and challenging environment on a weekly basis will hopefully inspire them to not only play well during our Seattle Sounders Women’s season, but in their respective college and future professional careers."

Michelle seeks to add her mark to the history of fine coaches who have guided the Sounders from the sidelines on match days. "I know firsthand what a great job previous Seattle Sounders Women’s coaches such as Chance Fry, Dick McCormick, Teddy Mitalis, and most recently, Leighton O’Brien, have done in developing a program rich in tradition and excellence. My goal is to put the team in a position to be just as successful,” she says.

More on Michelle:

A 1995 graduate of Burien’s John F. Kennedy High School, French went on to play for the University of Portland Pilots, the United States U-21 National Team and World Cup Residency Camp, the United States Olympics National Team, in the WUSA, and over four seasons with the Sounders Women.

French carries a USSF “A” coaching license and has gained coaching experience through assistant work with the University of Washington and UCLA. Michelle has also been a head coach at the youth level with Eastside FC and others and acted as a coach and scout for US Youth National Teams.


About the Sounders Women

The Seattle Sounders Women are an independent soccer club established in 2001. The club plays its home matches at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington. The Sounders have proven to be annual playoff contenders and have seen players advance to the highest levels of women’s soccer. In winter 2011 the Sounders were sold to a new ownership group, ensuring the club would continue its tradition of high quality, elite-level soccer. The Sounders Women can be found online at and

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