Michelle Akers attended the University of Central Florida on a scholarship where she was selected as four-time NCAA All-American. She was Central Florida's Athlete of the Year in 1988–89, was the all-time leading scorer in UCF history. She won the Hermann Trophy in 1988 as the nation's top college soccer player, and had her #10 jersey retired by the school.
She won the Golden Shoe as the top scorer with 10 goals during the 1991 World Cup. She was a key member of the 1996 Gold Medal winning team in the Olympic Games. She was named FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2002, an award she shared with China's Sun Wen. In 2004, Akers and Mia Hamm were the only two women named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living soccer players selected by Pelé and commissioned by FIFA for that organization's 100th anniversary. Akers is a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Since her retirement from the USWNT in 2000, she has also continued to promote the game of soccer as a spokesperson, advocate, and leader on various platforms.