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Brianna Pace '18

Sounders athletic trainer is living her dream

Having grown up watching soccer and attending Seattle Sounders games, Brianna (Hall) Pace '18 knew she wanted to work for the club as soon as she decided to pursue athletic training. However, she never imagined she would land a job with her dream organization so quickly.

Immediately after graduating from Whitworth with her athletic training degree, Pace began an internship with the Sounders Academy youth teams. Associate Professor Cynthia Wright '05 connected her to the opportunity, which is available to Whitworth students every year through an internship agreement.

"About a month into my internship, the Sounders' head athletic trainer & vice president of sports medicine mentioned that the academy was looking for another assistant athletic trainer and asked if I would be interested," Pace says. "Later that day, I met with the academy's head athletic trainer about the job and was hired on the spot. I started with the academy team a few days after my internship ended."

In her job, Pace helps to provide care to the Sounders' under-15 and under-17 teams. Her role includes injury prevention, rehabilitation, first aid and administrative work. "It can definitely be challenging," she says. "Some of these athletes have never been injured before, and working through that can be difficult." But working with the youth teams and on the development side of the organization has its unique perks.

"I get to be a part of the development of a future professional athlete both on and off the field. The Sounders of course want to develop good players on the field, but more importantly we want all of our players to be good people off of the field," Pace says. "It's so rewarding when you are able to see a player that you have worked with closely step on Lumen Field for the first time as a signed first-team player."

Pace credits Whitworth's athletic training program, including her professors, clinical supervisors and peers, for helping her become the athletic trainer she is today.

"They are all the reason I am where I am," she says. "The challenges I faced during my clinicals combined with the rigorous classroom material is why I was confident going into the professional sport setting so quickly, and it is why I have been successful."

Pace says it sometimes doesn't feel real that she is working for the Sounders. "I feel extremely fortunate and grateful for this opportunity," she says.


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