About halfway through their season, the Washington Spirit knew they needed to make some changes. Standing in the bottom half of the league, Team President Ben Olsen hired a new Head Coach, Kris Ward, and a new Assistant Coach Annie Worden.
Annie Worden, or as we know her, Coach Annie, is the Head Director of PPA's Premier Soccer and has been the face of PPA Premier Soccer since its inception. As one of the only female high level Club Soccer Directors in the region, her experience in the soccer community is rare.
Before starting a career as a coach, though, Annie had a dream to play professionally. After leaving Fordham University as a star soccer player with the Rams, she got her shot with the Chicago Red Stars. In her first pre-season camp, she tore her ACL, severing her tendon, and her dreams to play. After the injury, she decided to leave her playing career behind to help build PPA into a top soccer club in the DMV.
Fast forward to late 2021, and Annie got a call from her friend Kris, who was recently hired as the new Washington Spirit Coach. He invited her to join his staff.
By late 2021, Annie was on board with the Washington Spirit. "I was juggling coaching with the Spirit, coaching 2 PPA teams, and still managing as Head Director of Premier Soccer, which was growing really fast. So it was a lot to handle," Annie recalls.
Despite the busy schedule, Annie's impact on the Spirit was clear. "We didn't lose a game after I joined the staff. All the way to the championship," Annie recounts with a wry smile.
This Summer, Annie was presented her NWSL championship ring. And her dream of being a professional women's soccer player finally seems to have come full circle...
Congrats, Coach Annie!!!!!!