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Thursday, May 06, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Akers leads class in soccer Hall of Fame

By Seattle Times news services

Michelle Akers
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When Pele made a list of the greatest living soccer players, Michelle Akers was one of two Americans on the list.

So it was no surprise yesterday when Akers, a graduate of Shoreline's Shorecrest High, was chosen for induction into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Akers, Paul Caligiuri and Eric Wynalda will be inducted in Oneonta, N.Y., on Oct. 9.

Akers had both goals for the victorious Americans in the 1991 Women's World Cup final.

She scored the first goal in the history of the U.S. women's team, and her 105 goals for the national team include the decisive score in the 1991 FIFA championship and the clinching penalty kick against Brazil in the 1999 World Cup semifinals.

"I feel like I've had a long career, the way my body feels today," Akers said in a conference call.

Akers also won a gold medal in 1996 as a member of the U.S. team.

Akers received 70 of 73 votes in balloting by American soccer coaches and a national media panel. Eighty percent of the votes was needed for entry into the Hall of Fame.

Former Tacoma Star Roy Wegerle was seventh in voting with 23 votes. Fernando Clavijo, a former Seattle SeaDogs coach, was eighth with 20.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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