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Approximately 75 youth female soccer players and their coaches from 13 countries will travel to New Jersey from June 29 – July 13, 2019 as part of a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Sports Visitor Program celebrating the FIFA Women’s World Cup and exploring women’s empowerment and leadership through sports.  Participants were selected by U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Tanzania, and Ukraine.

The Sports Visitor Program, implemented in conjunction with FHI 360, brings international youth athletes and coaches to the United States to explore U.S. society, culture, and history through the lens of sports.  Participants will play and learn alongside American peers both on and off the field.

Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and State Department Sports Envoy alumna Julie Foudy will host the youth athletes and coaches at The Julie Foudy & espnW Sports Leadership Academy from July 7-11.  Participants will work with American citizens on leadership capacity training through activities that build confidence and self-esteem on and off the field.  In addition to participating in The Julie Foudy & espnW Sports Leadership Academy, the Sports Visitor participants will engage in activities with Women Win, Women’s Sports Foundation, United Soccer Coaches, Positive Coaching Alliance, Up2Us, the New York Red Bulls, and Sky Blue FC, among other local organizations.

This Sports Visitor Program is part of a larger ECA initiative entitled “Step In, Dream Big” to encourage girls and women around the world to step into their potential and realize their dreams.

Since 2003, ECA has hosted over 2,000 international youth athletes, coaches, and administrators on Sports Visitor programs, which increase dialogue and understanding between Americans and people around the world.

For press inquiries in the United States, contact To learn more about State Department sports diplomacy, follow the program on Twitter @SportsDiplomacy .  The Julie Foudy & espnW Sports Leadership Academy will also be tweeting highlights from @jfoudysla.

U.S. Department of State

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