For the past four years it’s been an honor to serve as both Vice-Chair and Chairperson of the Athlete Council. In that time the group’s engagement and influence within USSF has increased and we are well positioned to be leaders in the sport. I spent nine years on the Paralympic National Soccer Team, participating in two World Cups and the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Professionally, I work as an educator and youth soccer coach in San Diego. I’m passionate about athlete’s rights and would be humbled to have another opportunity to represent each of you on the Athlete Council.
Yael Averbuch is a current professional player in the NWSL and President of the NWSL Players Association. Originally from New Jersey, she attended the University of North Carolina, following which she began her professional playing career, representing teams in WPS, overseas, and NWSL. She has 26 caps for the USWNT. Yael writes and speaks about her experiences in the game and is an advocate for empowering others to own their development and personal journey. She owns her own business, Techne Futbol, aimed at helping players gain technical proficiency and master the tools necessary to play at the highest level.
It’s been a great learning experience the past 4 years with the council, and now being a part of a very strong group of leaders who care, and want to progress, and make change for the better, while including everyone to grow the game. Being a co-chair has enabled me to be even more involved and understand the deeper intricacies of US Soccer and the landscape of the game in this country. I hope I can continue to build on these last few years of progress, and continue to fight for all soccer players in the country with your support.
During the last three years I competed for USPNT. In 2017 I was awarded the US Soccer DPOTY. Outside of my role with the USPNT, I have worked in various domestic and International sport organizations. Currently, I work with sports program assessments for athletes with impairments at the International Paralympic Committee. Previously, I worked with grassroots organizations such as Soccer in the Streets based in Atlanta. Establishing a dialogue between leadership and athlete’s needs is something I see as a core principle for any sports federation, and something I would prioritize during my term as an Athletes Council member.
As a lifelong supporter of soccer in this country, I am honored to have been nominated for the Athlete’s Council and would love to be part of this esteemed group of leaders in our soccer community. As somebody who was fortunate enough to play for the US Men’s National Team at every level and represent my country in 3 World Cups, I believe I will be able to provide useful insight that will be for the betterment of soccer in America. Thank you again for your support!
When I was 14 I suffered a stroke from the result of a soccer injury. I recovered to play again in high school and college. January 2014 was my first call up to the Paralympic National team. I captained the team at my first tournament and until I retired in 2018. I scored 14 goals and had 12 assists in 36 international caps. I was awarded Disabled Player of the year by US Soccer in 2015 and nominated again in 2017. I was a 2016 Rio Paralympian and lead the team to #4 world ranking. I currently coach youth soccer.
For the past 3 years, I have been working closely with the USWNT Players Association representing players interests. Over that course of time, the PA has transitioned into a union that prioritizes players rights and wellness. Through this work, I’ve come to know USSF’s finances, business model and where the opportunities for improvement lie. I have a passion for soccer and helping advance the game in the US. I would like to continue that work for the players through the Athletes council. I’d be honored to represent each of you over the next 4 years.
Ali Krieger has played for the U.S. Women's National Team and professionally in the U.S. and Europe since 2007. In addition to winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she also played in the 2016 Olympic Games and 2011 Women’s World Cup. She started her career with 1. FFC Frankfurt, achieving the “treble” in 2008: Bundesliga Champions, Women’s DFB Cup, and UEFA Cup Champions, now known as Women’s Champions League. Krieger currently plays for Orlando Pride in the NWSL. She was named to the 2016 FIFPro Women's World XI, as well as the 2014 and 2017 NWSL Best XI.
I represented the US on the youth level (U16 to U20) consistently before attending UCLA. At UCLA, I captained the Men’s Team, while being a finalist in the 2006 College Cup, and earning a degree in Business Economics. In 2014, I graduated from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management with an MBA focused in Corporate Finance. I speak four languages and consider myself extremely well versed. I have played for the US Beach Soccer National Team since 2009. My business experience began in Municipal Bond Trading and now I am CFO of a Family Owned and Operated Fire Alarm Protection Company.
Alyssa Naeher is a goalkeeper for the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team and in the National Women's Soccer League. She was on the 23-player roster for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. In July 2016, Alyssa was named to the United States Women's Soccer Team roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Alyssa Graduated from Penn State University in 2010.
Samantha Mewis grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from UCLA with an English degree in 2014. She won an NCAA title with the Bruins in 2013 and has since gone on to win two NWSL Championships in 2016 and 2018. She has accumulated 40 caps with the USWNT over the past 5 years. Sam currently plays for the North Carolina Courage and resides in Boston in the offseason. Sam’s older sister, Kristie, also plays professional soccer in the NWSL for the Houston Dash. Sam is passionate about Boston sports, empowering young girls, and good coffee.
I have proudly been an Athlete Council representative for the last 4 years, and take great pride and effort in earnestly representing the interests of the Athlete. I have represented the Beach Soccer National team for 8 years and am the captain. I also play indoor soccer professionally, am a Director of Coaching in San Diego, and a UC Santa Barbara graduate. My main point of interest is to ensure US Soccer provides equal opportunities for ALL its athletes. Success for our Federation must be measured collectively, and every athlete deserves the same conditions and respect for representing their country.
Becky Sauerbrunn is a defender for the U.S. Women’s National Team and the Utah Royals of the NWSL. A World Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist, she has represented the United States at both the 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups, and at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. As a member of FC Kansas City, Becky won two NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as being named Defender of the Year for 3 consecutive seasons (2013-2015).
Lindsay Tarpley is a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist with 125 international appearances for the US WNT. Lindsay won the 2003 NCAA Championship while being named the National Player of the Year. In 2004, Lindsay won her first Olympic Gold medal tallying the first goal in the Olympic final. She won her second Gold medal in 2008. ESPN Rise named Lindsay the Player of the Decade (2000s). In 2011, a career ending injury forced her retirement. In 2018, Lindsay was part of a FIFA Legends Panel at the men’s World Cup while also attending the FIFA Think Tank in London.
McCall RaNae Zerboni
McCall RaNae Zerboni (born December 13, 1986) plays for the United States Women’s National Team and her club team North Carolina Courage. Zerboni graduated from UCLA and while majoring in History, won the Pac10 all four years and also attended four NCAA Final Fours. She has won 9 professional titles. She was part of the 2018 Tournament of Nations in which the USA were crowned as champions, defeating Brazil 4-1 in the final match. She sits on the NWSL Players Association board and was elected as Vice President. She also enjoys charity, volunteer work and community service.
I would be honored to continue to serve as the advisor to the council as we continue to strive for more athlete engagement at every level of USSF, increase interaction and cooperation with other councils, and support our national teams in any way we can.