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Amanda Cromwell and Jay Miller Head to Bolivia as Part of Sports Envoy Program

CHICAGO (April 17, 2009) — Former U.S. Women’s National Team player Amanda Cromwell and former U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team coach Jay Miller are set to travel to Bolivia for a series of soccer clinics around the South American country as part of the first Sports Envoy program of 2009.

Launched in 2006, the Sports Envoy program pairs U.S. Soccer with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on a sports initiative that sends players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Teams as State Department Sports Envoys to conduct clinics and spark a dialogue with local children around the world. Each program includes one male and one female Sports Envoy.

Miller, who coached the U.S. U-17 MNT during the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Cup, is a veteran of the Sports Envoy program, having traveled to Morocco last year. Cromwell, who earned 55 caps for the Women's National Team between 1991 and 1998, will participate in the program for the first time.

Cromwell and Miller arrive in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, on Tuesday, April 21. The next four days will see the two conducting clinics with local boys and girls, as well as local coaches. The activities extend beyond simple soccer drills, taking the time to showcase team-building activities. The U.S. coaches and players emphasize the values of teamwork, respect and leadership as the important platforms of the Sports Envoy program.

After working with local historic clubs of La Paz, including Bolivar and The Strongest, Cromwell and Miller will head to the city of Santa Cruz on Sunday, April 26. In Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia, the coaches will continue their work with local children at various soccer academies before departing for the United States on Wednesday, April 29.

The State Department, in partnership with U.S. Soccer’s International Relations Program, launched the World Cup Sports Initiative which brought 30 young soccer players from 13 countries to participate in a soccer program in Germany, New York and Washington D.C. in 2006. The International Relations Program created by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati helps strengthen U.S. Soccer’s ties within the worldwide soccer community.

In 2006, players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Team program traveled to the countries of Bahrain, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda and in 2007, Tiffany Roberts and Linda Hamilton traveled to the Philippines. Last year, the program featured stops in Morocco, El Salvador and Nigeria. Other past participants in the program include Marcelo Balboa, Glenn “Mooch” Myernick, Shannon MacMillan and Cindy Parlow.

Dates Country Participants
Sept. 2006 South Africa Glenn Myernick, Shannon MacMillan
Sept. 2006 Bahrain Phil Wheddon, Cindy Parlow
Oct. 2006 Nigeria Marcelo Balboa, Lauren Gregg
Oct. 2006 Uganda Curt Onalfo, Tiffany Roberts
May 2007 Phillipines Linda Hamilton, Tiffany Roberts
April 2008 Morocco Lorrie Fair, Jay Miller
May 2008 El Salvador Cindy Parlow, Jeff Pill
Nov. 2008 Nigeria Marcelo Balboa, Lauren Gregg