Julie Foudy & Ian Sawyers

It’s been a busy year for Julie Foudy and Ian Sawyers. On January 1, 2007, the butt-kicking soccer superstars, happily married since 1995, welcomed their first-born, daughter Isabel Ann, into the world. But she’s just one of thousands of girls they’re helping move through it with greater grace and agility. In 2006, Sawyers, former Women’s United Soccer Association Coach of the Year, launched the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, designed to turn girls between 12 and 18 into big scorers, both on and off the field, with his wife. In Foudy, they’ve found a good role model; between scrimmages, the former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and recent National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee—is a fierce advocate for women’s rights, fair trade, and Title IX. To think she didn’t even play offense.

Squaring Off: Sawyers once coached the WUSA’s San Jose Cyberrays, during which time his team played Foudy’s. But, under Sawyer’s watchful eye, she’s said: “San Jose won the league championship, which, regretfully, the San Diego Spirit, my team, never won.” We’re glad they’re on the same side now.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.