Washington Spirit looking to mentor next generation of female soccer coaches

As the Women’s World Cup comes to a close for the United States Sunday morning, D.C.’s pro soccer club is looking to mentor the sport’s new generation of female coaches.

“I really believe there are so many talented female coaches out there that can help to keep women in the game and also develop and empower female players,” Washington Spirit assistant coach Mami Yamaguchi told WTOP.

The Washington Spirit is launching its inaugural Female Coaching Mentorship Program. The team states the program’s goal is to create access and opportunity for women in sports equal to their male peers, on and off-the-field.

“So we’re looking at this world of of coaching and realizing that there is a bit of a void in in the area of female coaches and where we want to do our part to try and help grow that,” said President of Soccer Operations Mark Krikorian.

The team will review applications, which are due Tuesday, Aug. 8, and select four women to take part in the mentorship program.

The four selected will be mentored by a Spirit coach starting this month through July 2024 and will receive around 150 hours of training.

Coaches will teach broad understanding of soccer-specific tactics and technologies that are revolutionizing the game. They will also go over performance, strength and conditioning methodologies and work through opponent analysis and game preparation.

“They will have an inside look at all of that and you know, if they come away with a great idea here and there, that can help them to become a better coach, then the game continues to grow,” said Krikorian.

The four coach mentors will be Assistant Coach Angela Salem, Assistant Coach/Player Development Coach Mami Yamaguchi, Player Development Coach Moriano Imaizumi and Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development Mike Bristol.

All four had a hand at developing the seven Washington Spirit players that are on the biggest stage— four of them are on the U.S. team for the World Cup.

“Watching them playing on the biggest stage in their life, representing their country, and it’s just the inspiration for me,” said Yamaguchi. “And I cannot wait to get to work with all the players who are in the World Cup.”

The deadline for applications is Aug. 8. Interested coaches should submit a full resume, three references and a letter describing coaching interests and goals.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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