Lesle Gallimore to Receive Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award Brandi Chastain and Paul Caligiuri to be honored for their Distinguished Playing Careers.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 20, 2023) – The Walt Chyzowych Fund (WCF), a charitable fund of the United Soccer Coaches Foundation, announced on Monday that Lesle Gallimore, would receive the Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be presented her award during the Walt Chyzowych Award Ceremony and Reception on January 13, 2024, in conjunction with the association’s 84th annual convention in Anaheim, Calif.Gallimore will be honored alongside two of the most iconic goal scorers in U.S. Soccer history, Brandi Chastain and Paul Caligiuri, each to receive a Walt Chyzowych Distinguished Playing Career Award.

The Walt Chyzowych Fund was founded after his passing in 1994 to honor his memory and promote his legacy as former U.S. National Team Coach and Director of Coaching. The fund helps provide coaching education scholarships and grants to aspiring coaches and developing soccer organizations through its fund-raising efforts in partnership with the United Soccer Coaches Foundation.

“It is with great humility and deep gratitude that I accept this prestigious honor. Being recognized with an award in the name of the legendary Walt Chyzowych is nothing less than awe-inspiring,” said Gallimore. “To be amongst the past recipients of this achievement makes me extremely proud knowing that I have done right by this wonderful game and the people that I have encountered along the way. There are many on this list whom I have been fortunate to know, learn from and be mentored by over the years. My career in the game wouldn’t have been possible without my family, closest friends, former players, colleagues and coaches who have supported and challenged me along the way. I am excited to celebrate with everyone in Anaheim and pay homage to Walt Chyzowych and the impact he had and is still having on the game of soccer in America.”  Gallimore participated in twenty-one NCAA Tournaments, including three as a player at the University of California (1983, ‘84, ‘86), three more as their assistant coach and fifteen as head coach at the University of Washington in the period between 1994 and 2019. She retired after a twenty-six-year coaching career at Washington with an overall record of 270-218-49, a record of victories ranking in the top 25 of Division I women’s soccer.In March 2001, Gallimore served as assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. She later worked for the U.S. State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, traveling to Morocco, Ethiopia and Israel working with their coaches, as well as coaches from Tunisia and Libya. In June 2020, Gallimore was appointed as the first-ever Commissioner of the Girls Academy League. Under her leadership, the Girls Academy has become the leading youth development platform for female soccer players throughout the United States, developing over 1300 female athletes in 91 clubs.As an inspirational leader, Gallimore was named the first ever recipient of the Carla Overbeck Leadership Award by U.S. Soccer. She is also a coaching mentor as part of U.S. Soccer’s She Champions Mentorship Program and served as President of United Soccer Coaches in 2018. Her administrative career has now been highlighted with her recent appointment as General Manager of the OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). In addition to honoring Lesle Gallimore in Anaheim, Brandi Chastain and Paul Caligiuri will be honored as recipients of the Walt Chyzowych Distinguished Playing Career Award.

Brandi Chastain is a two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with 192 U.S. Women’s National Team appearances, scoring 30 goals, primarily as a defender. She was named to the U.S. Women’s National Team Best Eleven in 2013 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017. It was in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, hosted by the United States, where Brandi Chastain scored the deciding penalty-kick against China in the sold-out Rose Bowl, clinching the World Cup title and helping to propel the growth of girls and women’s soccer in the United States. She is also a founding member/investor in the NWSL team, Bay FC.

Paul Caligiuri scored five goals in his 110 U.S. Men’s National Team appearances including a World Cup goal in the country’s first World Cup game in 40 years in Florence as part of Italia 1990. It was his goal against Trinadad and Tobago (T&T) in Port of Spain on November 19, 1989, which gave the U.S. a 1-0 victory when all odds were against them as T&T needed only a tie at home. Caligiuri had an illustrious professional career in Germany, playing for two seasons in the Bundesliga after representing the U.S. in the 1986 FIFA-UNICEF World All-Star game. When he returned home, Caligiuri appeared in 135 MLS games and his final professional appearance was in the 2001 US Open Cup Final where his LA Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution in overtime. A highlight of the Walt Chyzowych Award Ceremony and Reception will be the silent auction of a fully autographed Angel City Football Club jersey and an Inter Miami CF team jersey signed by Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and teammates. The Walt Chyzowych Award Ceremony and Reception will be held in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom Center at 4pm on Saturday, January 13, 2024. Refreshments will be served. The event is supported by Capelli Sport, celebrating its fifth year as the Walt Chyzowych Fund Principal Donor and by the National Women’s Soccer League’s Angel City Football Club which has been named Professional League Team Principal Donor for 2024. To learn more about the Walt Chyzowych Fund and the United Soccer Coaches Foundation and to donate, please see www.waltslegacy.com or www.UnitedSoccerCoaches.org/CoachesGIVE.