WorldStrides Sports and Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS) have partnered to bring you an interview series spotlighting the global impact of women's soccer.
Hosted by WorldStrides' own Eric McAleer, a former Scottish national team schoolboy player, and Skye Eddy, a former professional player and founder of SoccerParenting.com, this series will explore the incredible impact five noted women in the soccer community have made on the sport, the extraordinary hurdles they've overcome, and the inspiring successes they've experienced.
WorldStrides Sports is the leading provider of once-in-a-lifetime international travel experiences for North American players of all ages and ability levels. Since 1998, more than 15,000 players, coaches, parents, and family members have traveled on a competitive WorldStrides Sports trip. Currently, we work with many of the top NCAA, ODP, club, and high school teams in the U.S., providing unparalleled international soccer travel experiences for their programs.
WAGS was founded as a regional soccer league for girls in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Now, they are a charitable organization with a mission of empowering girls and women, from all over the world, through soccer. They currently support six unique soccer programs specifically for girls and women that promote confidence, strength, character, and leadership in a variety of ways.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Eric is a former professional and Scottish national team schoolboy player, physical education teacher, high school coach, and is currently the General Manager and Senior Vice President of WorldStrides Sports.
Skye is a former professional soccer player, active coach, and founder of SoccerParenting.com, where she is dedicated to fostering collaborative relationships in the youth game.
After 19 years as a player, including 59 appearances for Scotland, Shelley made her transition to coaching initially with Kilmarnock Ladies. In 2019, she became the first coach to lead the Scottish Women's National team in a FIFA Women's World Cup. Shelley took charge of the national team in 2017 after highly successful spells in charge of Arsenal Ladies and Stirling University FC men's team.
Beginning as an assistant coach at the University of Mississippi in 1997, Lisa's coaching journey has taken her all around the world. Her resume includes spells with the Boston Breakers and the Houston Dash, leading the Papa New Guinea U-20s into the World Cup in their home country, and, now, helping create and shape the women's game in Antigua and Barbuda.
Since retiring from the professional game in 2015, Bianca Rech has jumped right into the administrative side of the game. Stops at FC Viktoria Koln, and FC Koln led to a spell working at UEFA before Bianca moved on to Bayern Munich, the largest club in Germany, where she is currently the Sporting Director for Women's Football.
Following a successful playing and coaching career in the college game, Jené Baclawski is recognized as one of the best coaching educators in the U.S. Currently the Technical Director for one of the largest youth soccer associations in the country, Baclawski also leads coaching courses for the United States Soccer Federation. In 2019, she became the Head Coach of the St. Kitts & Nevis Football association and led them through Olympic 2020 Qualifying.
Vicky Losada, who grew up playing in the FC Barcelona Youth Academy, is now the captain of the first team and a Spanish internationalist who represented her country in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. Following a 6 month spell playing in the NWSL with the Western New York Flash, Losada had a highly successful two year stint at Arsenal. After winning the FA Women's Cup and the FA WSL Cup, she returned home to FC Barcelona in 2016.
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