Former U.S. National Team member and current WUSA player Michelle French begins her first season with the UCLA women’s soccer program.
French is currently in her second season in the WUSA and is a member of the San Jose CyberRays. She played her first season with the Washington Freedom, starting 20 of 21 matches while leading the team in assists with five.
In addition to her experiences in the WUSA, French has also represented the United States at the National Team level. She helped the U.S. Olympic Team earn a silver medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia and was named to the U.S. Residency Camp in preparation for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She earned her first cap with the National Team against England in 1997. At the youth level, French was a member of the Under-21 U.S. Team from 1994-99.
At the collegiate level, French was a four-year starter for coach Clive Charles at the University of Portland from 1995-98. She led the Pilots to three appearances in the NCAA Final Four, including a trip to the NCAA Final in 1995. She was a finalist for both the M.A.C. Award and Hermann Trophy in 1998, earning first-team NSCAA All-America honors that year as well.
“We are extremely excited to have an athlete of Michelle’s caliber join our staff,” said head coach Jillian Ellis. “Her vast experience as a player, both with the U.S. National Team and in WUSA, will be a valuable asset to our program. She has been a leader on the field for many years, and I expect that to translate to the sidelines as she begins her coaching career. Her presence will be felt the moment she begins working with our players.”
French will continue her career in the WUSA while coaching at UCLA.