Published : Thursday, August 1, 2019 | 4:40 AM
As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team prepares for its Victory Tour match against the Republic of Ireland at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, August 3, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Coach Jill Ellis, who led the team to historic back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cup titles in Canada (2015) and France (2019), will be stepping down as head coach following the completion of the Tour in October.
Ellis, 52, will depart as the first coach in history to win two Women’s World Cups and currently has an overall record of 102-7-18. She will continue on with U.S. Soccer for at least the next year in the role of an Ambassador, which will include representing the Federation at various events and speaking engagements, the announcement said.
“The U.S. Soccer Federation and the sport in general owes Jill a debt of gratitude,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said. “Jill was always extremely passionate about this team, analytical, tremendously focused and not afraid to make tough decisions while giving her players the freedom to play to their strengths. She helped raise the bar for women’s soccer in the USA and the world, and given the history of this program, the level of success she achieved is even more remarkable.”
Ellis said her departure as coach is in line with the timeframe she envisioned when she accepted the position five years ago.
“The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer,” Ellis said. “Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment.”
Ellis said coaching the national team “has been the honor of a lifetime.”
“I want to thank and praise them (the team members) for their commitment and passion to not only win championships but also raise the profile of this sport globally while being an inspiration to those who will follow them,” she continued. “I want to sincerely thank the world class coaches and staff with whom I’ve had the privilege to work – they are quintessential professionals and even better people. And finally, I want to thank the Federation for their support and investment in this program, as well as all the former players, coaches, and colleagues that have played an important role in this journey.”
Ellis won eight tournaments during her time on the U.S. touchline: the 2015 Algarve Cup, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the 2016 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 Tournament of Nations, the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
During her time as head coach, both interim and officially, Ellis called up 79 players to take part in at least one training camp. Of those 79 players, 56 earned at least one cap. Ellis also gave 28 players their first caps.
Ellis was the eighth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history. Thirteen months after she started as coach on May 16, 2014, she led the USA to the title at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
At the end of 2015, Ellis was named the FIFA World Coach of the Year and Concacaf Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer.
At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA won all seven games – the last five against five of the best teams in Europe on European soil – to claim what was the most competitive Women’s World Cup title to date.
The victory in France was also a culmination for Ellis’ 20 years spent in the service of the Women’s and Girls’ National Team programs at U.S. Soccer. Before becoming the USWNT head coach, Ellis served as the Development Director for U.S. Soccer, working with the Youth National Teams, and also served as assistant coach for the senior National Team, the head coach for the U.S. U-20 and U-21 WNTs, a scout for the WNT and the head coach for the U.S. U-16 GNT.
Saturday’s match in Pasadena will be their third at the Rose Bowl since the USWNT won the iconic 1999 World Cup final there two decades ago, when Brandi Chastain scored the winning penalty kick against China.