Michelle Akers Bio: Career, Illness, Net Worth & Husband

Who is a woman? A woman is a wife, a mother, a sister, a teacher, a politician, a nurse, a football player, etc.

Moreover, a woman is not limited to a handful of occupations but is capable of a greater feat than her male counterpart, and Michelle Akers proved just that.

Also, being a woman from a traditional 60s society, Akers went a long way to establish herself as a soccer legend. Besides, earning a name for oneself in a sport primarily dominated by men is a commendable achievement.

Michelle Akers, Soccer
Michelle Akers celebrating a goal

On top of that, Michelle is the recipient of FIFA Female Player of the Century, a National Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee, and two times Women’s World Cup Winner in 1991 and 1999. It won’t get better than this, will it?

Well, it does. In modern times, the U.S. Men Soccer Team struggles to make World Cup Qualification and play at an international level.

On the other hand, Women have won a total of 4 times. We are here to talk about the legend herself, Michelle Akers.

In this article, we will discuss her early life, career, her Illness, her net worth, and her personal life. So, let’s get moving, shall we?

Quick Facts:

Full NameMichelle Anne Akers
Birth DateFebruary 1, 1966
Birth PlaceSanta Clara, California, U.S.
Nick NameMichelle
ReligionChristian
NationalityAmerican
EthnicityCaucasian
EducationShorecrest High School
HoroscopeAquarius
Father’s NameRobert Akers
Mother’s NameAnne Akers
SiblingsNone
Age56 years old
Height5’10 ″ (1.79 m)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
Shoe SizeNot available
Hair ColorBlack
Eye ColorGrey
Body MeasurementNot available
BuildEctomorph
MarriedYes
BoyfriendNo
SpouseYes (Name: Unknown)
PositionMidfield/Forward
ProfessionFootball Player
Net Worth$12 million
Clubs UFC Knights (College); Tyreso FF, Orlando Lions Women (Senior)
Jersey Number#10
Social MediaFacebook, Twitter, Instagram
ChildrenYes (Son: Cody)
Last UpdateDecember, 2022

Where did Michelle Akers attend college? Early Life, Parents, & Education

A native of Santa Clara, California (U.S.), Michelle Anne Akers was born on February 1, 1996, to Anne Akers and Robert Akers.

Even though of Californian origin, the Akers family relocated to Seattle, Washington, and resided in Shoreline’s suburb.

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Hence, a young Michelle spent most of her childhood and adult life in Seattle. At the same time, the American enrolled in Shorecrest High School and ardently played soccer for the school team.

Young
     A young Michelle Akers

Contrarily to modern times, the 70s weren’t lenient towards women. There was a stigma surrounding women’s involvement in sports.

Obviously, a dominant male society couldn’t bear women dressing down, wearing shorts, and frolicking on the football pitch.

Despite being a progressive society, sporting fandom was hyped only for men.

However, this didn’t stop the likes of Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm from breaking the stereotypical barrier and claiming their spot on the world sport.

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Also, when Akers graduated high school and joined college, a women’s soccer team took shape.

As a result, the University of Central Florida introduced a women’s soccer department and thereby received its name as UCF Knights.

Due to growing popularity in women’s sport in 1921, the F.A. banned the professional women’s team and limited the game for recreational means only.

Subsequently, in 1970, the ban got revoked, and the first-ever national knockout event took place during 1970/71.

Michelle Akers, age
Michelle Akers posing for a magazine

Further, during this period, Michelle was a young girl who developed a liking for this sport. Although her parents gave her tremendous support, society would still hold her back.

She used to practice in the backyard every day with her father and brother. It was a big dream of Akers to be a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Conversely, society’s norms didn’t bother young Akers as the brave women of 1970 stood as an inspiration for the Californians.

For this reason, Michelle took football as an extracurricular activity in school and became a professional while in college.

How tall is Michelle Akers? Age, Height, & Physical Stats 

At present, the American soccer icon is 56 years old and enjoys her retirement in the company of family and friends.

While this may be true, during her prime years, Michelle was a bonafide beast.

With a towering height of 5’10” (1.79 m), the soccer legend had an overwhelming presence in the field. Similarly, Akers had impressive physical attributes such as; stamina, strength, and aggression.

Height
Michelle Akers for the USA Women’s team

In other words, Michelle might be one of the strongest women on the pitch, and if she ever thought about changing her career, the soccer star could easily pass as a rugby player.

Further, the most reminiscent aspect of hers was the never-giving-up mentality. Likewise, Akers weighed a significant 68 kg (150 lbs) and, even at present, maintains her weight to retain her fitness.

The most distinguishing feature about the legendary baller is her curly brown hair, leaner yet muscular frame, and wide smiling face.

Michelle Akers | Career: Club & Country

In particular, the center-forward started her footballing dreams at the University of Central Florida.

Also, she attended the college on a scholarship, and while playing as a college athlete, Akers accepted several moral boosting accolades.

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Thereafter, with the college endeavors’ closure, Michelle would travel to Stockholm, Sweden, where she played for Tyreso FF from 1990 until 1994.

Unlike men’s football, professional training wasn’t as vast as they are in the modern day. Accordingly, the Swedish Women’s football team accepted the American soccer star in their ranks.

As a result, Akers could learn to hone her skills, mask her weaknesses, and capitalize on her strengths.

Again, in 1992, for a brief period, Michelle would transfer to Orlando to play for Orlando Lions Women for two full seasons. Eventually, after fulfilling contractual duties, she would return to Sweden.

International Career | Stats & Goals

Additionally, the American icon started representing her country while still in college.  Most importantly, her achievements with UCF Knights and Tyreso FF amplified her value in the U.S. ranks.

Since its inception in 1985, Akers was an invaluable member of the USWNT. Even though an ankle injury ruled her out for the first match, the midfielder came back against Denmark to be the primary scorer for the USWNT with a brace.

Michelle Akers, career
Michelle Akers and April Heinrichs with their individual awards

Moving on, Michelle went on net goals 15 times in 24 appearances from 1985 to 1990. Subsequently, in 1991, the midfielder scored a country record of 39 goals in an astounding 26 games.

In fact, her performances got recognized with a Female Athlete of the Year award bestowed by the USSF.

Gradually, Akers would continue her form in the FIFA Women’s World Cup by recording five goals in a single match and totaling ten goals by the end.

Eventually, the USWNT stood victorious in the women’s world championship beating Norway with a 2-1 score. Having played as a forward for a long time, her athleticism would also threaten her health.

National Team
Michelle Akers with the USA Women’s squad

To illustrate, Michelles’s unyielding physicality meant her to be in a constant altercation with the opposing defense.

Indeed, realizing an alternative solution to the problem, the forward would transition into a midfield role.

Unfortunately, the soccer star suffered a concussion and a knee injury right before the 1995 World Cup. However, the USA international vowed to make a comeback in the upcoming competitions.

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In like manner, Michelle participated in Atalanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics, where the women squad would successfully bag a gold.

Furthermore, the midfielder was adamant about contributing to the team’s glory.

Michelle Akers, Olympics
Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm at the 1996 Summer Olympics

Thus, Akers played an entire competition with torn medial collateral ligament wherein she would drop down defensively or launch counter-attacks. Moreover, it is a testament to the Hall of Famers’ resilience.

In other words, a painful surgery awaited her, and after undergoing reconstructive surgery, a rejuvenated Michelle collected a gold medal at the Goodwill Games in 1998.

Additionally, Akers received the FIFA Order of Merit for her on-field and off-field services. In the same way, the midfielder captained her national side to yet another World Cup win in 1999.

At the conclusion, the association awarded her with Bronze Ball for being the third MVP of the entire tourney.

World Cup
Michelle Akers during one of the World Cup matches

However, the most remarkable thing about this historic world cup win is that in the decade of the 21st century, a new batch of women’s teams bagged two more World Cups.

It is the 8th segment in the Women’s World Cup franchise. People may come forth with arguments that Men and Women’s Soccer is different, but is this a valid argument in the year 2020?

Nonetheless, with a 15 year long successful career at the international level, the legendary soccer player welcomed retirement.

She signed off with 105 goals in 153 appearances, recording a total of 36 assists for the USWNT.

Career Achievements

For the country,

Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics (Atalanta)

Gold Medal at the 1991 Women’s World Cup (China)

Bronze Medal at the 1995 Women’s World Cup (Sweden)

Gold Medal at the 1999 Women’s World Cup (USA)

Individual honors,

Central Florida’s Athlete of the Year: 1988/99

Hermann Trophy: 1988

4-time NCAA All-American

USSF Female Athlete of the Year: 1990, 1991

FIFA Order of Merit: 1998

FIFA Female Player of the Century: 2002

National Soccer Hall of Fame: 2004

FIFA 100 List: 2004

Michelle Akers | Net Worth, Animal Rescue, & Books

To begin with, Michelle expectedly accrued a jaw-dropping $12 million net worth in her 15-year long career.

Although the details regarding her exact salary remain unknown to the public, we can assume it to be of significant numbers considering her achievements.

Furthermore, the American midfielder is a part of the historic World Cup Winning women squad.

Thus, World Cup winners received a hefty six-digit sum as rewards for their accomplishments, technically only 7.5% of what men make even today.

Michelle Akers, Net Worth
Michelle Akers, during an interview.

Despite the massive pay gap, women’s football is gaining prominence as of [current year], which is duly credited to women like Michelle for their revolutionary and inspirational passage to success.

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Animal Rescue

Upon retirement, Akers ventured into social work. To illustrate, the world cup winning athlete is an animal rights advocate and involves the rescue of horses and other animals.

Animal Rescue
Michelle Akers works as an animal rights activist.

She has established a small, non-profit foundation called Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Outreach Foundation in 2007.

Likewise, she also turned much of her career memorabilia over to the auction to boost the horse rescue foundation. 

Since the animal rescue is merely out of love towards animals, her farm instead also serves as a training ground for the women’s rugby team sometimes.

Above all, an aging body doesn’t manage to stop the vibrant American as she moves around volunteering as a spokesperson to promote women’s sports. At the same time, life challenged her most unimaginably.

Most importantly, her failing marriage, physical ailments, and her entire life’s experience as a player, and in general, a woman, prompted her to publish a book on that journey.

Michelle Akers | Personal Life, Husband, Kids & Illness

The soccer icon is a married woman. Specifically, Michelle tied the knot twice in her life. Moreover, her first marriage ended bitterly with many repercussions for both parties.

Michelle Akers, family
Michelle Akers pictured her son Cody.

Previously known as Michelle Akers-Stahl, she removed the hyphenated name after divorce.

Nevertheless, Akers found love again in an unnamed man and shares a healthy son named Cody with whom she collaborates in animal rescue.

Illness

It is hard to imagine that the once overwhelming midfielder would be stricken with ailments. However, we are all humans, after all, and sickness and diseases are not avoidable.

During the 2000 Olympic Games, Akers was battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and a shoulder injury at that point ended her glorious career.

Consequently, the Illness would often intervene in her training and leave her in lethargy.

Granted that Michelle’s illustrious ended in such a painful way, the former USA international recuperated by devoting her faith in God.

Finally, with the innate desire and awareness of such debilitations, Akers now travels and participates as a motivational speaker in various events and through her local church.

Michelle Akers | Some Popular Quotes

  • Soccer isn’t brain surgery, have fun.
  • I think the challenge is to take difficult and painful times and turn them into something beneficial, something that makes you grow.
  • It’s the struggle that makes you triumphant.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: 20.3k followers

Instagram: 13.4k followers

Facebook: 7.8k followers

Some FAQs:

Is Michelle Akers in the hall of fame?

Michelle Akers was inducted as a member of the (U.S.) National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.

What disease does Michelle Akers have?

In 1991, Akers was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction. It is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems, and people with this disease are often not able to do their usual activities. 

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