Mary Harvey is first Werner Fricker Award female winner

Mary Harvey, the starting goalkeeper on the 1991 U.S. Women's World Cup championship team and 1996 Olympic gold-medal team, was named the 2017 winner of U.S. Soccer's Werner Fricker Builder Award, the federation's highest award, given to those who have had a lasting legacy on soccer. She was the first woman to be a division head at FIFA and helped launch WPS. She is also the first woman and second youngest person to win the Fricker Award.

"It's a great pleasure to present the Werner Fricker Builder Award to a member of our first FIFA Women's World Cup title team and someone who has dedicated her life to positively impacting the game," said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. "Mary's determination over the past three decades has paved the way for the advancement of youth and women's soccer, not only in the United States but across the world. Her work reflects her passion for the game, which transcends the sport to our everyday society. Her legacy as an all-star on and off the field will be cemented into U.S. Soccer's foundation for many years to come."

The Cal graduate played for the USA for eight years (1989-96), playing every minute in goal when it won the inaugural Women's World Cup in China. Harvey played with FSV Frankfurt in the new Frauen-Bundesliga and later Hammarby and Tyreso in Sweden.

"I am honored and humbled to receive this award, and to be selected by a committee of such esteemed builders of the sport themselves," said Harvey. "It is particularly meaningful to receive the award bearing Werner Fricker's name. A giant of the game, Werner was the President of the Federation when I first made the national team, and I had the pleasure of serving with him on the U.S. Soccer board of directors. To receive this recognition is a tremendous honor, particularly in light of the many others who have given so much of themselves to the game."

In 1992, Harvey was elected to serve on the U.S. Soccer board of directors, where she served for the 11 years, including five years on the executive committee.

In 2003, she was hired by FIFA to lead its Development Division, overseeing a quadrennial budget of $640 million and team of 70 people located in 13 offices around the globe. During her five-year tenure, FIFA implemented extensive reforms to its financial assistance program, and she helped establish the U-17 Women's World Cup.

She was appointed chief operating officer for Women's Professional Soccer, a role she held from 2008 to 2010.

In 2012, she founded Ripple Effect Consulting, working with organizations using sports to drive social and environmental change. She helped drive the #WomenInFIFA campaign and served as a sport envoy for the U.S. Department of State.

Harvey, 51, is also the vice chair of the board of directors for the Green Sports Alliance, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to getting those involved in pro sports to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices.

Werner Fricker Award:

2002  Werner Fricker Sr.
2003  Sunil Gulati
2004  Honor not awarded
2005  Gerhard Mengel
2006  Sal Rapaglia
2007  Francisco Marcos
2008  Bob Gansler
2009  Alan Rothenberg
2010  Bob Contiguglia
2011  Kevin Payne
2012  Hank Steinbrecher
2013  Honor not awarded
2014  Richard Groff
2015  Bruce Arena
2016  Anson Dorrance
2017  Mary Harvey

Correction: The story previously referred to Harvey as the youngest winner of the Fricker Award. Sunil Gulati, the winner in 2003 at the age of 44, is the youngest winner.

4 comments about "Mary Harvey is first Werner Fricker Award female winner".
  1. Ginger Peeler, February 9, 2017 at 4:11 p.m.

    I'm sorry..,I'm having trouble handling this. I keep seeing Jonathan Winters as Maude Frickert. It is soooo difficult for me to take this seriously. My apologies (snort).

  2. Ric Fonseca replied, February 12, 2017 at 12:44 a.m.

    Ginger, no need to apologize. I first encountered her during WCUSA94, found her to be quite personable, but found it very and rather curious that she sure as heck "climbed up" that invisible ladder faster than others, and Randy sure said it best, and maybe it is a matter of, ya know, it is not what you know, but .... fill in the rest.

  3. Mark Landefeld, February 9, 2017 at 7:10 p.m.

    When Mary was playing, she was always generous with her time. She volunteered to help with our youth state team goalkeepers, demonstrating leadership and a then unique female role model in the pre-Mia days. The award is well-deserved.

  4. Randy Vogt, February 10, 2017 at 6:14 a.m.

    There's something about Mary! Won the first Women's World Cup and the first women's Olympic gold medal, then moved on to lots of other great things. Yet she is not nearly as well-known as other former USWNT players since she was on the team just as they were starting to receive more coverage. Maybe winning this award will help change that.

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