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Soccer greats Lloyd, Chastain headline spring roster of U.S. Sports Envoys

U.S. soccer great Carli Lloyd (pictured) and fellow former star Brandi Chastain have been chosen to lead this year's U.S. Soccer Sports Envoys program. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI
U.S. soccer great Carli Lloyd (pictured) and fellow former star Brandi Chastain have been chosen to lead this year's U.S. Soccer Sports Envoys program. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

April 8 (UPI) -- U.S. legends Carli Lloyd and Brandi Chastain are spearheading this year's spring roster of Soccer Sports Envoys chosen to represent the country abroad, the State Department announced Monday.

Lloyd, a former captain of the U.S. Women's National Team, and Chastain, a two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, will work with American diplomats to "elevate sports" and "promote peace and democracy around the world" through their participation in the Sports Envoy program, U.S. officials said in a statement.

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Lloyd has been chosen to team up with another retired U.S. soccer great, Cobi Jones, to travel to Greece later this month, during which they will work to engage youth on and off the field through soccer clinics and leadership workshops.

Chastain, meanwhile, is already in the Portuguese islands of the Azores, where she and youth soccer development expert Radovan Pletka are working with young women soccer players at soccer clinics and leadership workshops that "highlight the importance of education and inclusion," the State Department said.

The U.S. Sports Envoy Program recruits elite athletes and coaches to travel overseas to lead programs developed by U.S. embassies and consulates, according to its organizers. While there, they participate in community outreach activities and engage youth "in a dialogue on the importance of leadership and respect for diversity."

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The State Department works in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. sports federations and professional leagues in conjunction on the program.

In addition to Lloyd, Chastain and Jones, this spring's roster of soccer Sports Envoys includes U.S. Women's National Team alumnae Joanna Lohman and Kacey White, who traveled to Cambodia last month.

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