As part of the 50th Anniversary of Washington Youth Soccer, we want to know who the best men, women, and soccer citizens have been over the first 50 years of WA Youth Soccer. In a soccer-rich community like Washington, the Top 50 players could be hotly debated...
If there’s anyone more emblematic of this state’s commitment to producing exceptional players of the highest character, it’s Amy Griffin.
Washington Youth Soccer formally brought girls into the organization’s fold in 1972, just as young Amy Allmann of Federal Way was beginning to explore sports.
By her teenage years she grew beyond the ability of her classmates and was playing alongside grown women. Griffin and her peers were ahead of their time; few of the state’s colleges sponsored women’s soccer at the time. Consequently many Washingtonians were forced to play for universities thousands of miles away. Griffin joined Michelle Akers at Central Florida.
After retiring from the U.S. National Team following the 1991 World Cup triumph, even Griffin’s first coaching stints were out of state. However, for the past 20 years she has served as assistant and now associate head coach at the University of Washington. Griffin is also coach of the U.S. Deaf Women’s National Team.
As coach and player, she is closely connected with everyone on her list. Upon making her picks she said, “I thought the coolest thing was immediately understanding the rich soccer history and the role that Washington state players have played in the sport on both the women’s and men’s side.”
Griffin only wishes more people could’ve witnessed Akers in her prime, or others who paved the path for her generation, such as Sharon McMurtry.
“Sharon was jaw-dropping skillful,” offered Griffin. “It saddens me that there were people like Sharon, just as special as the people we see on TV now, who never got to have all the fun. They just did all the work.”
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Griffin’s Top 18 – Made in Washington