, who captained the USA to the first Women's World Cup title in 1991 and coached it to the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, has been named the 2019 winner of U.S. Soccer’s
Werner Fricker Builder Award.
Heinrichs' tenure as U.S. Soccer youth women’s national team director ended at the end of 2018 after eight years in the position.
sincerely enjoyed working with youth players and supporting our coaches in their efforts to develop players and teams,” Heinrichs said. “I am proud knowing that we will always be a world
leader in women’s soccer on and off the field and that our players will represent the USA with pride as they compete for every championship.”
As U.S. Soccer’s highest
honor, the Werner Fricker Builder Award (named after the late U.S. Soccer president who was instrumental in the award of the 1994 World Cup hosting rights to the USA) is given to an individual or
group of individuals who dedicate at least 20 years of service to the sport, working to establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. The award was first
presented in 2002 and given to Mary Harvey
, Heinrichs' teammate on the 1991 World Cup, in 2018.
In 2011, Heinrichs was appointed technical director for the women's side of the U.S.
youth national team program. The appointments of Jill Ellis
, now women's national team head coach, and Heinrichs marked the first time U.S. Soccer had created full-time positions for women's
development. The program now has seven full-time coaches (U-14 through U-20 women's national team).
“April is a true leader and pioneer of the women’s game,” said U.S.
Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro
. "The impact she made on several generations of players was immeasurable, and her passion with our national teams has been inspirational. We all owe April a
debt of gratitude for her years of selfless work in pursuit of excellence."