Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Kei Kamara

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Sierra Leone

To Kei Kamara, his home country of Sierra Leone means everything to him. Born in Kenema on Sept 1, 1984, he spent his childhood days like most African youngsters – playing soccer/football. By 1990, his mother left for the US and the country was in the middle of a bloody civil war that lasted 12 years. Fearing for their lives, Kamara and his family fled their home, eventually seeking refuge with his mom in 2000 in Los Angeles, California.

As a 16-year-old refugee Kamara, quickly found the structure and support he needed to graduate high school, and soon developed into a top goal scorer at nearby California State University Dominguez Hills. By 2006, he garnered attention from Major League Soccer and was drafted 9th overall by the Columbus Crew.

Over the past 15 years Kei has had an illustrious professional career that has included stints in the English Premier & Championship Leagues, and Veikkausliiga, the top division in Finland. He currently ranks 5th on the all-time MLS goal scorers list and is one of only 10 players to score over 100 goals. Kei has also represented Sierra Leone (Leone Stars) on the national stage for 12 years and helped lead the team to the 2021 African Cup of Nations Tournament for the first time since 1996.

While he’s enjoyed success on the field, Kei holds Community works close to his heart. In 2012, The Kei Kamara HEARTSHAPEDHANDS Foundation was founded with the sole purpose of providing scholarships to schools and students in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The foundation, named after his signature goal celebration, has allowed Kamara to follow his heart and use his hands to give back to the place he loves.

When the Sierra Leone government recently created free education for all, Kamara shifted the focus of his Foundation to help students earn an education through sports to study abroad. In the Fall of 2021, HSH helped its first-ever student athlete secure a scholarship to a prestigious Waldorf boarding school in New England and is currently working with other students for the same potential opportunities.

In addition, Kei has also been an active board member of the Black Players for Change (BPC) organization “committed to tackling racial injustices that have limited Black people from an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society.”

When he’s not playing soccer, Kei likes to spend time with his wife Kristin and three children – Kierin, Kendrick, Kaelan, and dog Chelsea (affectionately named after his favorite soccer team). If you know him you will know that family is his number one priority whether in Sierra Leone or in America

Jessica Clinton

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Morocco

Jessica Clinton, former women’s soccer associate head coach at Boston University, was named head women’s soccer coach at Fordham in January of 2014.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Coach Jessica Clinton to Fordham,” said Fordham director of athletics David Roach. “After an extensive search it became clear that Jessica was the individual we wanted to lead our women’s soccer program. Her experience, passion and drive make her the ideal person to coach our soccer student-athletes. I look forward to working with Jessica and anticipate a bright future for women’s soccer here at Fordham.”

In her first six seasons at the helm, Clinton has put the Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship hunt, making the title match for just the third time in team history in 2015, while qualifying for the championship in 2016, 2018, and 2019. During the 2015 run, Fordham won 13 games, just one shy of the program record, and set team marks for shutouts (11) and goals against average (0.84). The team was also listed in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings for most of the year, finishing the year tenth.

Individually, five Rams received postseason honors, led by Jessica Widmann, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10, First Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Kristina Maksuti, Nicole Bates, and Ally Doyle each earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Brooke Salmon receiving All-Rookie Team accolades.

In 2016, four Rams received postseason honors, highlighted by Bates, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10 and ECAC All-Star, Third Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Doyle also earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Bates, while the duo also received NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-East Team. Salmon also earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Margaret Roughley being placed on the conference’s All-Rookie Team.

2017 saw more awards for Fordham, as the team was once again a recipient of the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) Team Academic Award and the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award. Salmon earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors for the second straight season, while Clara Gastaldi earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team. In addition, the Rams set a new school record for team goals against average at 0.82.

The Rams matched that goals against record again in 2018 at 0.82, while also setting a new shutout streak record at 416 minutes, which included four consecutive shutouts. Three Rams earned All-Atlantic 10 accolades, as Salmon was a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, while Gastaldi and Roughley were both named to the Academic All-Conference Team. Gastaldi received additional academic honors as a Google Cloud/CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection.

In 2019, Fordham saw two players selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in Danielle Etienne and Kristen Cocozza, marking the first time since 2003 that the Rams had multiple All-Rookie selections. In addition, Etienne made her first appearance the the Haitian National Team, appearing in the Caribbean CONCACAF qualifiers for a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

In her first full year at the helm in 2014, Clinton led Fordham to eight wins overall, which began with a 6-1 start, the team’s best-ever start through seven games. The team also tied a program record by recording six consecutive victories.

In addition, Fordham was recognized three times by the NSCAA, receiving the Team Academic Award for the sixth straight season, while also earning the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award for the first time in 2014, which recognizes teams that exhibit fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game, as reflected by the number of yellow caution cards or red ejection cards they are shown by referees throughout the season. Fordham was one of 82 teams that claimed the Silver Award, which is given to teams that accumulate no red cards and a maximum of five yellow cards. The Rams were the only Atlantic 10 team among the 125 honored schools.

Clinton arrived at Rose Hill after serving on the staff of her alma mater, Boston University, for six years, first as an assistant coach from 2008-2012 and then as the associate head coach in 2013.

In 2013, Clinton helped the Terriers to the Patriot League regular season and tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Boston University, who entered the NCAAs ranked 25th in the nation, defeated Harvard University in the first round before falling to ninth-ranked Santa Clara, 2-1, in the second round. Nine members of the team received All-Patriot League honors while four received NSCAA All-Region accolades.

As an assistant coach, Clinton guided Boston University to America East Conference regular season titles for five straight years (2008-2012) and four consecutive tournament championships (2008-2011). The Terriers received NCAA Tournament bids each season from 2008 through 2011. The 2011 season was the best in program history as Boston University went 19-3-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after claiming their fifth straight America East title. The Terriers had a program-best 14 game winning streak that fall en route to securing the most victories in a single season (19).

Prior to her stint at Boston University, Clinton served as an assistant coach at St. John’s from 2007 to 2008. Clinton has also coached within the youth club NEFC since 2009.

Clinton has been a member of the U13 and U15 Region 1 Olympic Development Staff since 2009 and a Senior Staff member for the U15 age group.

As a player at Boston University, Clinton was one of the Terriers’ most accomplished keepers. She sits at the top of the school record books in saves in a season (98) and saves in a career (312), while also ranking seventh in career goals-against average (1.10) and sixth in career save percentage (.802).

The 2003 America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Clinton was a member of three AE championship teams (2000, 2001, 2003). She was an America East All-Conference First Team honoree in 2001 and 2003, while collecting NSCAA All-Northeast Region Team honors as a senior. In addition, Clinton trained with the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) for one season in 2003.

Clinton is a holder of NSCAA National and Advanced Diplomas, as well as a USSF “B” and “C” Licenses. She also received the Bob McNulty award which is named in honor of Bob McNulty, a former national staff coach, who instructed “C” courses for many years. The award is given candidates who best represent coaching and the important role it plays in the development of young people.

The Valley Stream, N.Y., native graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a degree in hospitality administration.

Marsha Harper

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Morocco
  • 2021*  –  Morocco

Marsha Harper is the seventh head coach in women’s soccer history at American University, announced Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Billy Walker on December 29, 2019. Harper joined the Eagles after two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts, during which time the Minutewomen went 21-12-4.

Harper was part of a full coaching staff change at UMass, working with head coach Jason Dowiak who was a former mentor and colleague from the University of South Florida. While at UMass, Harper was directly in charge of all internal operations such as the development of practices, recruiting, social media, compliance and admissions for the women’s soccer program.

Prior to her time at UMass, Harper spent two seasons at Richmond, another Atlantic 10 Conference program. She has also had assistant coaching stints at Bowling Green State University (2015) and Northwestern State University (2014).

In addition to her tenures as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, the USF double-graduate has spent time coaching at the club and Olympic Developmental levels.

After completing her collegiate playing career, Harper volunteered as an assistant coach at USF in the spring of 2014 while also serving as a staff coach for the Future 50 Soccer Camp.

Harper was a member of the University of Florida women’s soccer team for three seasons before transferring to USF in 2011. She served as captain for the Bulls during the 2013 season. The collegiate defender earned her bachelor’s degree in applied science in 2012 and her master’s degree in exercise science at USF in 2014.

*denotes virtual program

Shannon MacMillan

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  South Africa
  • 2010  –  Argentina
  • 2011  –  Guatemala

Shannon enjoyed a career with the US Women’s National team for 12 years; playing in 176 games and scoring 60 goals.

During that time she won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and another gold as an alternate for the 2004 Greece Olympics. She also played a vital role in winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup and followed that up with a third place finish in the 2003 Women’s World Cup. In 2002, Shannon was named the US Soccer female athlete of the year. Shannon was a member of the US Soccer Envoys that conducted clinics in South Africa and Guatemala emphasizing the value of teamwork, respect, and leadership. In 2016, Shannon was elected to the US Soccer Hall of Fame.

In February of 2014, Shannon was inducted into the Cal South Hall of Fame.

Shannon currently holds a USSF National “B” license. She is a Certified Advance Sports Technology Facilitator. Shannon also is a Fox Soccer and ESPN/SEC analyst, covering matches such as the U17 and U20 Women’s World Cup.

Prior to joining the Sharks she was the Assistant Coach for the UCLA Womens team for two years, 2007-2009, helping lead the Bruins to two final four appearances. She is a 2008 Inductee to San Diego’s Breitbard Hall of Champions. Shannon graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in Social work. She was also a four time All American for the Pilots and the winner of the prestigious Hermann Award as college soccer’s top player in 1995.

Marcelo Balboa

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Nigeria
  • 2008  –  Nigeria

Former San Diego State University men’s soccer player Marcelo Balboa was a two-time All-American and led the Aztecs to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1988 and 1989. SDSU posted a combined record of 29-8-7 in Balboa’s two years and he was inducted to the Aztec Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.

Following his time at SDSU, Balboa played professionally in Mexico and the U.S. until 2002, spending 1996-2001 with the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer (MLS).

On the international stage, Balboa became the first American to earn 100 caps with the U.S. National Team and played in three World Cups (1990, 1994, 1998). Balboa was named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1992 and 1994 and has been inducted into both the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Colorado Hall of Fame.

Balboa has been broadcasting since 2003 and has covered the Colorado Rapids for Altitude TV the past 13 years. He coached his sons, Owen and Nicholas, at Monarch High School before becoming the head coach for the Colorado Rapids Development Academy’s U-14 squad.

Juergen Sommer

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Ivory Coast

A native of Naples, Florida, Sommer brings with him 8 years’ experience in the European professional league, where he enjoyed international acclaim as a player with Luton Town Football Club and Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club where he was the first American to play in the coveted English Premier League and was named Goalkeeper of the Year in 1993. Juergen’s playing career also encompassed playing with the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution where he was an MLS Allstar. In addition, Juergen’s acclaimed playing career also included representing the United States Men’s National Team over a 14 year period playing World Cups in 1994 and 1998. As a college player, Juergen was a four year letterman and captain for the Indiana University Soccer team and was a 1988 Division 1 National Champion, Defensive MVP of the 1988 NCAA Championships and was 1990 National Player of the Year in College Soccer.

After Juergen retired from playing in 2002 he served as assistant coach for the Men’s National team for the World Cup, Copa America, and Gold Cup tournaments. In 2013 Juergen was named Director of Soccer and Head Coach of the Indy Eleven.

Johnny Collins

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Philippines
  • 2018  –  Vietnam
  • 2019  –  Burma
  • 2019  –  Ethiopia
  • 2019  –  Kuwait

Johnny Collins is an “A” licensed soccer coach who has been coaching all over the world for the past 25 years. He has coached at all levels but prefers working in youth development. An orphan himself, he loves working with underprivileged kids and he has an 18 year old daughter so empowering young women is also a passion of his.

Glenn Myernick

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  South Africa

An NASL and national-team defender who parlayed his playing career into a successful coaching career before his death at the age of 51. Myernick played 168 games during his eight seasons in the NASL, for Dallas, Portland and Tampa Bay, and appeared in the national team 10 times. He was coach of MLS’ Colorado Rapids for four years and an assistant coach of the U.S. teams at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Inducted in 2015.

YeRuchia “Rushia” Brown

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2017  –  Ethiopia

Rushia Brown was born in the Bronx, NY and raised in South Carolina. As a sophomore, she first picked up a ball and joined the Summerville High School Junior Varsity basketball team. Athletic, yet untrained, Rushia began a journey that would forever change her life. Through hard work and dedication, she was one of the top student-athlete recruits in the state of South Carolina as a senior; being courted by esteemed universities such as Harvard, Duke University and her then dream school, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. With the recent loss of her father, Rushia chose to stay close to home and attend Furman University.

As a Lady Paladin, Rushia pursued her education and competed on the court, attaining every accolade available including Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, multiple MVPs, Southern Conference Player of the Year, Edna Hartness Athlete of the Year and eventually having her jersey hang from the rafters as #34 was retired, never to be worn again. Rushia’s collegiate years lead to a 10 year professional career overseas, which spanned 5 countries; Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Korea and 7 years in the WNBA; 6 years in Cleveland and 1 year in Charlotte.

Brown is currently working to make a difference in the lives of girls and women through the sport of basketball. Rushia is the Founder/President of the Women’s Professional Basketball Alumnae (WPBA), the only organization structured to assist women who have played professionally in the WNBA or in Europe as they transition into mainstream society.

Rushia is also the Director of Public Relations for Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine,(YBE) an educational platform for those with entrepreneurial aspirations.

Teresa Edwards

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Mozambique

When she was 20 years old, at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, Teresa Edwards became the youngest athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball. Sixteen years later, at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Edwards became the oldest player to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball.

All told, the sensational 5-foot-11 point guard from Cairo, Georgia, played in five Olympic Games, bringing home four gold medals and one bronze.

It was one heck of a journey for Edwards, whose basketball career began when she and her younger brothers would shoot baskets in their grandmother’s front yard – the basket there was a bicycle rim nailed to a pine tree. A four-year starter for the Cairo High Syrupmakers, Edwards went to the University of Georgia, where she again was a four-year starter, leading the Bulldogs to Final Four appearances in 1983 and 1985, averaging 15.5 points and 5.1 assists for her career.

Edwards made her Olympic debut in 1984 as the Americans breezed to a relatively easy gold medal victory. Led by the standout Cheryl Miller, the United States won all of its games by at least 30 points.

In the 1988 Seoul Games, Edwards averaged team-highs of 16.6 points and 3.4 assists per game as the Americans claimed gold, beating Yugoslavia, 77-70, in the championship game. Four years later in Barcelona, Edwards averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 assists but the United States was upset in the semifinals and had to settle for a bronze medal.

At the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, Edwards was selected to read the Athlete’s Oath at the Opening Ceremony and two weeks later she and her teammates returned to the top of the podium. Edwards averaged 6.9 points and 7.2 assists and the United States won each of its games by at least 15 points. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the 36-year-old Edwards averaged 6.1 points and 3.4 assists as the Americans again won all of their games by double figures to win gold. Edwards also was involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games, serving as the United States’ Chef de Mission.