The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and U.S. Soccer announced today that former U.S. Women’s National Team players Briana Scurry and Amanda Cromwell will serve as sports diplomats May 1-7 in the first wave of soccer exchanges slated for this year. Scurry and Cromwell will travel to Germany, which will host the 2011 Women’s World Cup. They will conduct soccer clinics with youth, meet with high school and university students, and participate in local community events in Berlin, Dresden, Wolfsburg, Sinsheim, and Frankfurt.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Office leads the sports exchange programs at the U.S. Department of State. Since 2004, in partnership with SportsUnited, 18 U.S. National Team players and coaches have visited 13 different countries, where they have conducted hundreds of soccer clinics for thousands of youth and coaches. Previous diplomats in the sport of soccer include Marcelo Balboa, Lorrie Fair, Cindy Parlow, and Tiffany Roberts.
In addition to Scurry and Cromwell’s trip to Germany, former U.S. Women’s National Team player Linda Hamilton and former U.S. Men’s National Team player Tony Sanneh will lead programs in Pakistan. Former U.S. Women’s National Team players Shannon MacMillan and Michelle French will travel to Brazil later this year.
This initiative builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which uses the full range of diplomatic tools – in this case soccer – to bring people together and foster greater understanding among people and cultures.