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Play with Pride

The sixth annual Play With Pride Week is Sept. 18-24, 2022! The initiative was developed in 2017 by the association’s LGBTQ+ & Allies Coaches Community.

Rainbow Laces

Each September, soccer programs across the country join United Soccer Coaches in showing their support for athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations and gender identities by wearing rainbow laces to support diversity and inclusion in the game. Play with Pride is an initiative developed by the association’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Coaches Community.

Rainbow laces will be shipped out towards the end of August.

2021 Play with Pride Webinar Schedule


Webinar Title Presenters
Allies and Coaches: Supporting the LGBTQ+ Soccer Community

Patricia Hughes, United Soccer Coaches College Programs Officer

Robin Hart, Cal State East Bay Head Women’s Soccer Coach

David Gough, Assistant Coach OU Women’s Soccer; Assistant Coach Jamaica Women’s National Team

Watch this Webinar

Forever Proud: The Impact of LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Pro Soccer

Dean Linke, Sports Broadcaster

Landon Donovan, Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and Manager, San Diego Loyal (USL); Former USMNT

Lizzie Seedhouse, Senior Vice President, Digital, Emerging Technology & Strategy at USL

Watch this Webinar

Being Your True Self

Dean Linke, Sports Broadcaster

Dan Woog, United Soccer Coaches LGBTQ & Allies Advocacy Group Chair

Kaulawenakanoeohiaka (Ula) Rowe, University of Hawaii Women’s Assistant Coach

Saskia Webber, GK Coach at UCLA, Co-Owner of NWSL Team Angel City FC, & a Producer & Co-Host of Inside the 18 Goalkeeper Podcast

Watch this Webinar

2020 National Coming Out Day Webinar

National Coming Out Day was on Sunday, October 11th, 2020. In recognition of the day, we hosted a free webinar featuring Kaig Lightner and Shalom Kimble. These coaches shared fascinating stories about their lives, and the impact their sexual orientations and gender identities have had on their coaching careers. You can watch the recording of the webinar below.

What Does “Play With Pride” Mean to You?

For 2020’s Play With Pride Week, we asked coaches and their players, “What does Play with Pride mean to you?” Hear their answers below!

2020 Play With Pride Spotlights

October is LGBTQ History Month. Get to know trailblazers in the game we love this month with our Play with Pride Spotlights!

Ryan Atkin – The first openly gay referee in English professional soccer. 

Tierna Davidson – Youngest player on the 2019 USWNT. Plays for the Chicago Red Stars, Chosen first overall in the 2019 NWSL draft after playing 3 years at Stanford. 

Thomas Hitzlsperger – Former German international (2006 World Cup, 2008 European Championship). Now Head of VfB Stuttgart Sport.

Angela Hucles – Former member of USWNT; former President of Women’s Sports Foundation. Noted speaker on sports leadership equality and inclusion. Advisory Board member for You Can Play.

Ashlyn Harris – Two-time USWNT WOmen’s World Cup Champion. Plays with the Orlando Pride. 

Ali Krieger – Over 100 appearances for the USWNT. Currently plays with the Orlando Pride. Played in 3 Women’s World Cups; part of the defense that held opponents scoreless for 540 minutes in 2015.

Lori Lindsey Former 2011 USWNT member; former professional player.

Collin Martin – Came out in 2008, at the time the only out gay man in any big 5 American sports leagues; former MLS player, now with San Diego Loyal (USL).

Megan Rapinoe – USWNT (2 Women’s World Cup champions) co-captain. Winner of Ballon d’Or; Best FIFA Women’s Player, 2019. Known internationally for her crafty play and social justice activism. Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential people of 2020.

Robbie Rogers – First openly gay man to compete in a top North American professional soccer league (LA Galaxy); played internationally, and earned 18 USMNT caps.  

Pia Sundhage – Former USWNT head coach; 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year. Also coaches Swedish women’s national team; now head coach for Brazil’s national team.

David Testo – Former MLS player; first male American soccer pro to come out (after retiring in 2011).

Abby Wambach – Women’s World Cup champion; member of US Soccer Hall of Fame. Highest all-time goal scorer for USWNT; 2nd in international goals for male and female players (184).

Saskia Webber – Member of U.S. Soccer’s legendary 1999 World Cup championship team. Goalkeeper Coach for UCLA’s highly touted women’s program, Co-Owner in LA’s new NWSL Franchise Angel City FC.

Jill Ellis – As the former USWNT head coach she won consecutive Women’s World Cups (2015, 2019). Awarded the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence.

Anton Hysen – Swedish professional player; 2nd active male player to come out in the world. Son of former Swedish international Glenn Hysen.