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Zahra Lechak Named Sounders Women Assistant Coach

Tukwila, WA – The Seattle Sounders Women announced the hiring of Zahra Lechak as the club’s new Assistant Coach. Lechak, an elite level coach and former Sounders Women player, joins Hubert Busby Jr. and GK coach, Kelly Bendixen on the coaching staff.

The new Sounders Women assistant coach, Zahra Lechak, said, “I am very excited for this opportunity to work with the Sounders Organization; Lane Smith, Jon Billings, Lesle Gallimore and Hubert Busby Jr., to continue the traditions of Sounders Women soccer. We’ll continue to not only provide opportunities for competitive soccer for our players but to also achieve a high level of success as we have in the past.”

Lechak has over 12 years of coaching at some of the highest levels of women’s soccer in the United States.  The Puget Sound native holds a USSF A-Coaching License and currently serves as a Washington State Elite Player Development (EPD) Head Coach and serves to scout and select players for the USA Youth Team Pool. In addition to her role with the Sounders Women, Zahra is the Girls Youth Director/Head Coach for the Seattle United youth soccer club. 

Lechak brings a unique perspective to the Sounders coaching staff, as a former Sounders player and now coach.

Zahra Lechak said “I will bring my knowledge, passion for the game, and high standards to the Sounders Women and will instill this in our players. Through my experience of playing college soccer at UConn for four years and with the Sounders Women for eight years, I know what it takes to play at a high level and the path to get there.”

Zahra played collegiately at the University of Connecticut where she received numerous honors including League Defensive MVP. She led the team to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament and was named University of Connecticut Outstanding Athlete.

Zahra Lechak coaches the Washington Elite Player Development team (in Sounders kit!)

Her playing career extends beyond her days with the University of Connecticut. Lechak played for the Sounders Women from 2002-2009 where the team won Western Conference Championships and made six playoff appearances during her time with the team.

Lechak said, “The Sounders Women gave me a place to play at a high level throughout my college career and post college as I still had the desire to play and there wasn’t a professional league. I was able to play with some of the best players in the US and had some knowledgeable coaches who helped me develop my game. Now, I am able to give back to this wonderful organization and help the current players get to the next level.”

Lechak will act as Assistant Coach for the Sounders Women and will work with Sounders Women Head Coach Hubert Busby and Technical Director, Lesle Gallimore to help grow the Sounders Women brand in the community.

The Sounders have not only established themselves as a high level organization that produces quality soccer players on the field but has also converted fans to the sport of soccer, who now love the beautiful game,” Lechak said. “Seattle’s vibrant soccer community continually grows as youth players can aspire to be a Sounder for both male and female players. This is key to the success of soccer in Washington and the U.S. as a whole”

Lechak has a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Connecticut.

For more information on the Sounders Women and Zahra Lechak, see SoundersWomen.com.


Zahra Lechak QUOTES

How do you feel about being an integral part of the Sounders?
I am very excited for this opportunity to work with the Sounders Organization; Lane Smith, Jon Billings, Lesle Gallimore and Hubert Busby Jr. to continue the traditions of the Sounders Women soccer. We’ll continue to not only provide opportunities for competitive soccer for our players but to also achieve a high level of success as we have in the past.

What does the Sounders brand mean to you?
It has helped grow the game here in Washington. From the humble beginnings to now seeing the Sounders colors everywhere; on youth soccer fields, in grocery stores, and on cars driving down the highway. The Sounders have not only established themselves as a high level organization that produces quality soccer players on the field but has also converted fans to the sport of soccer, who now love the beautiful game. Seattle’s vibrant soccer community continually grows as youth players can aspire to be a Sounder for both male and female players. This is key to the success of soccer in Washington and the US as a whole.

What years did you play for the Sounders?

2002-2009 (started at the end of my freshman year in college)
Postseason Appearances- 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
Final Four Appearances- 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008

As a former player for the Sounders Women, what does it mean to come full circle and now coach?

The Sounders Women gave me a place to play at a high level throughout my college career and post college as I still had the desire to play and there wasn’t a professional league. I was able to play with some of the best players in the US and had some knowledgeable coaches who helped me develop my game. Now, I am able to give back to this wonderful organization and help the current players get to the next level.

What do you hope to bring to the team as an assistant coach?

I will bring my knowledge, passion for the game and high standards to the Sounders Women and will instill this in our players. Through my experience of playing college soccer at UConn for four years and with the Sounders Women for eight years, I know what it takes to play at a high level and the path to get there.

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