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...
Between playing against or alongside Washington’s best, and recruiting or coaching later generations in her 22 years as University of Washington head coach, Lesle Gallimore holds a most comprehensive view of the best players ever produced.
A native Californian, Gallimore played for the best teams from the Golden State when they would collide with Washington selections in national club tournaments and Olympic Festivals. After taking the helm in Montlake, she began intensively searching the state for would-be Huskies. Many of her top UW players, such as Hope Solo and Tina Frimpong, are featured among her picks.
However Gallimore also wanted to reach further back and recognize those whose names are not as recognizable to younger generations.
“There are players in there that are forgotten about, who were on the forefront, the pioneering edge of the sport,” said Gallimore. “So many good players from this state had a lot to do with the sport being popular here and for getting soccer started at the University of Washington (in 1991).”
“I think it’s great Washington Youth Soccer is doing this anniversary celebration,” she added. “It’s needed to bring a spotlight to how special this place is for the game. It’s a tremendous soccer culture from youth to college to professional. It’s a great place to live if you love playing soccer in America.”
Gallimore's Top 18 – Made in Washington