United States Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis has stepped down following the FIFA Women’s World Cup triumph last month.
The 52-year old became only the second manager in history to lift back-to-back World Cup titles in over 80 years. Ellis coached USWNT for 127 matches during a five-year spell, winning a staggering 107 times.
The English-born coach declined the option of extending her contract through the Tokyo Olympics next year but will remain on the sidelines for the USWNT’s five-game victory tour which begins on August 29 in Philadelphia against Portugal.
U.S. Soccer announced her managerial resignation on Tuesday afternoon along with the news that Ellis will spend the next year as an “ambassador” for the federation.
“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honour of a lifetime,” Jill Ellis said in a statement. “I want to thank and praise them 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.”
“It’s obviously been a fantastic run, a fantastic ride. I just need to take a step back and take it all in and see what next intrigues me and piques my interest,” she added. Jill Ellis also said that it would be fantastic if she was succeeded by a woman.
As of now, there is no obvious replacement for the two-time Women’s World Cup winner but it will surely be difficult for the incoming manager to continue the USWNT legacy. Both Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who will be 31 and 35 respectively at the 2020 Olympics, have entered the final phase of their careers and won’t be around for much longer.
The USWNT, therefore, will undergo a major transformation in the next couple of years under their new manager. Before that, they will hope to lift the Olympic title in Tokyo next summer after their disappointing quarter-final exit in Rio.