This Sunday, May 15, as Sounders FC take on Minnesota United FC in a nationally televised game on ESPN (1:00 p.m. / Sirius XM, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM), the Rave Greens are celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s soccer in Washington State and the 50th anniversary of Title IX – the revolutionary legislation adopted in 1972 to eliminate discrimination based on sex in order to guarantee all students, men and women, access and equality to education, with a particular impact on access to sports. A variety of game day elements recognizing and elevating women’s soccer in Washington State and the power of women in sports are scheduled, both on and off the field.
Prior to the match, Sounders FC and Zulily day sponsor host a Panel on the career of women in professional sport. The panel includes female staff from the club and Zulily, who will share their professional journey and answer questions from young girls participating in the panel thanks to the work of the RAVE Foundation and Washington Youth Soccer.
In the northwest hall of the stadium, a special exhibition is available to fans, courtesy of Washington State Legends of Soccer, detailing the milestones of women’s soccer in Washington over the past 50 years.
Fans can also find out more about a new investment in the RAVE field which is announced on Sunday. Located in the Larchmont neighborhood of Tacoma, this new addition to RAVE’s collection of small open-air playgrounds is made possible in partnership with OL Reign, Washington Youth Soccer and Delta Air Lines.
Immediately before kickoff, “Scarves Up!” of the Sounders FC moment is led by a collection of women’s soccer icons across the state over the past 50 years, including: Dr Colleen Hackerfamed mental skills coach and performance psychologist who was a member of the United States coaching staff for six Olympic Games, in addition to leading Pacific Lutheran to three NAIA titles; Linda Veliededicated referee, instructor, evaluator, cedant and administrator in Washington State, Region IV and American football for over 30 years, and the first woman to referee a men’s professional game (1989); Gina Segadelliformer United States Women’s National Team forward and first woman in the United States to coach a men’s professional soccer team, serving as an assistant coach in 1994 for the APSL Sounders; John Smisekfirst woman to receive USSF Level A coaching license and pioneer for women in soccer, including as head coach of Seattle University and Evergreen State College; Sandi Gordon Yotzthe first black player on the United States Women’s National Team; Denise Benderformer United States Women’s National Team defender and first-ever USWNT captain; Lori Henrymember of the first United States Women’s National Team and only player in the inaugural match to also appear in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991; Bernadette Nounanrecognized for her massive contributions to the growth of soccer in the United States and a founding member of the Washington State Women’s Soccer Association; Sandra Hunt, former FIFA referee selected for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2003, as well as the Sydney Olympics in 2000, currently a referee coach for the PRO; and Kerri Hunta Seattle native and member of the 1983 paper United States Women’s National Team — formed before the team played any games — and a former coach at Bellevue College.
On the pitch, Sounders FC players wear a special outfit jersey patch marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX. The mark displayed on the patch was created by the Seattle Sports Commission for use by the Seattle sports community to celebrate landmark legislation. the jerseys worn by the match are auctioned off by the RAVE Foundation to continue RAVE’s investment in fair play and support programs that inspire and empower girls through football. The online auction opens this Saturday, May 14 at Sounders.Givesmart.com and closes at noon on Thursday, May 19. website on May 22, as OL Reign hosts the Washington Spirit at Lumen Field
On Sunday, the Lumen Field Pro store also offers a special scarf, featuring Seattle Sports Title IX artwork. Scarf supplies are extremely limited, and fans should stop by early if they want to get one for their collection.
At halftime of the match, the RAVE Foundation recognizes the United Cultures women’s team. Announced on National Day for Girls and Women in Sport, the creation of this new women’s pro-am team is the result of an investment and collaboration between Sounders FC and Cultures United, a community football organization led by BIPOC. In addition to funding start-up expenses such as uniforms, league fees and pitch rentals, Sounders FC invests in the future of players. Players from the Cultures United women’s team will be hired as mentor-coaches for RAVE Foundation clinics and camps in 2022, with a particular focus on girls’ programs and mentoring to further support efforts of Cultures United and RAVE.
For more information regarding any of the activities mentioned here, please contact a member of Sounders FC Communications. To learn more about Sounders FC game days, health and safety and how to prepare to attend a game, visit SoundersFC.com/Matchday/Know-Before-You-Go.