Girls ODP and MLS pioneer Betty D'Anjolell passes away

[OBITUARY] Betty D’Anjolell, a pioneer in the ODP and national girls team program and later Major Soccer League, died on Wednesday morning.

She was a U.S. Youth Soccer regional administrator and later national chairperson of its girls ODP program in the 1980s. In 1994, she traveled with the U.S. under-19 women's national team on its first trip abroad. She also served as the president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association.

D’Anjolell was an one of the first hires for D.C. United when it launched in 1996. After working for D.C. United, she was hired by the struggling Miami Fusion as chief operating officer to help turn around its front office but resigned after one year with the expansion team.

In 2008, D’Anjolell was inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition.

“Betty was responsible for operations, but her role went a lot further than that,” said D.C. United President Kevin Payne. “She was a combination mother and taskmaster, a very important person in the early years of our organization. She was tough as nails on the outside, but nurturing and caring on the inside. She should be remembered as someone who cared deeply about our game and provided it great service.”

D.C. United will hold a moment of silence in D'Anjolell's honor prior to Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution and players will wear armbands in her memory.

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