Jill Ellis

England women
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Eluko: Ex-USWNT boss Ellis the ‘best fit’ for England

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England women national team hero Eniola Aluko says Jill Ellis is the coach best equipped “to bring silverware” to her home nation.

Current England boss Phil Neville’s job has been under scrutiny for some time as the Lionesses have won just three times since reaching the 2019 World Cup semifinals.

Aluko is an England centurion and says she isn’t in for the job despite what the bookies say, and she really likes the idea of the ex-USWNT.

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Ellis, 53, was born in England and moved to the United States at the age of 15. She led the USWNT to back-to-back World Cups and was named the FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year in both of those years (2015, 2019).

From Sky Sports (video):

“The England women’s team now are at that point where they are getting to semifinals and now need to be getting to a final and winning it, winning World Cups and European championships. The only person in the best position to do that having won back-to-back World Cups, having won Olympics is Jill Ellis. She has that pedigree; She’s worked with some of the best footballers, elite athletes in the world.

“The only problem would be the contract she’s going to command will probably be very, very high and it’s whether the FA are willing to invest that kind of money. I’m talking about commensurate to probably what Gareth Southgate is paid, coming from that sort of equal pay expectation.”

Money may be tight moving forward, but splashing the cash on Ellis would send a strong message to the England side and add loads of drama to the SheBelieves Cup, Olympics and more.

Some American fans thought the USWNT succeeded in spite of Ellis’ management, but two World Cups don’t lie. If Neville’s canned, we’d love to see Ellis get the chance to prove her those critics wrong.

Berhalter made almost as much as Ellis in first few months

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NEW YORK — American men’s soccer coach Gregg Berhalter earned nearly as much from the U.S. Soccer Federation in his first four months as women’s counterpart Jill Ellis took home in 12.

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Berhalter, hired on Dec. 2, 2018, had compensation of $304,113 from the USSF in the year ending last March 31, according to the tax return released by the federation on Wednesday. That figure included a $200,000 signing bonus.

Ellis, who became women’s coach in May 2014, had compensation of $390,409 in the fiscal year. She went on to lead the Americans to their second straight World Cup title, was voted FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, then left in October. Any bonus she earned as a result of the title likely will be listed on the next year’s tax return.

Her base salary was raised to $500,000 in late 2018, a person with knowledge of her contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the USSF has not announced that.

The USSF has said she was the highest-paid women’s coach in the world.

Tab Ramos, who was the men’s under-20 team coach before leaving in October to become coach of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, outearned Ellis with compensation of $460,772.

Ellis did earn more than Earnie Stewart ($291,667), hired as men’s general manager in June 2018, and Dave Sarachan ($241,869), interim men’s national team coach from October 2017 until Berhalter was hired.

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Jürgen Klinsmann, fired as men’s coach in November 2016, was paid $1,475,000 on Feb. 1, 2018. He received $3,354,167 in the year ending March 31, 2018.

Bruce Arena, who replaced Klinsmann and led the men’s team through its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup , was not listed on the latest return. He received $1,249,348 in the year ending March 31, 2018, which included what was listed on that return as a $300,000 settlement.

Earnings were listed for several of the players on the U.S. women team, including Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd (both $313,390), Crystal Dunn ($312,142), Lindsey Horan ($304,142) and Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Megan Rapinoe (all $304,140).

Their salaries ranged from $164,642 to $171,140 and include $100,000 for time with the national team. The remainder is what the federation pays for the time with clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Bonuses were from $133,000 to $146,000 and include per match fees and the payment for qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.

Women’s national team players have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF that is scheduled for trial starting May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The top two salaries of the administrative staff were chief executive officer Dan Flynn ($899,440) and chief commercial and strategy officer Jay Berhalter ($779,765), the coach’s brother. Flynn retired in September and the federation said Jay Berhalter is leaving at the end of February.

Report: Vlatko Andonovski to be new USWNT head coach

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U.S. Soccer’s search for a new U.S. women’s national team head coach has reached a quick and tidy conclusion with Vlatko Andonovski expected to be announced as the replacement to Jill Ellis next week, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.

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Andonovski was the favorite to replace Ellis from the moment it became public knowledge she would be stepping aside following the conclusion of the USWNT’s 2019 World Cup victory tour. The 43-year-old has excelled as head coach of two NWSL franchises, FC Kansas City (2013-2017) and Seattle Reign (2018-2019), winning back-to-back NWSL titles in 2013 and 2014 and earning public praise from some of the highest-profile players whom he coached.

It was most notably that massive popularity with the players — for both his personality and tactical acumen — which made him the heavy favorite from day one.

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Prior to becoming the first head coach of FCKC (the franchise has since been relocated to Salt Lake City, where it is now knows as Utah Royals FC under the ownership and operation of MLS franchise Real Salt Lake), Andonovski was the assistant coach of the Kansas City Comets indoor team. He held both the FCKC and Comets head jobs from 2013 to 2016.

Lloyd: Coming off bench at World Cup “rock bottom of my entire career”

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The upper echelon of the USWNT player pool, especially the veteran generation, just swims in a different competitive gene pool.

Comments from a recent podcast featuring Carli Lloyd are the latest evidence of this, as the USWNT legend calls not starting regularly at this summer’s World Cup “the worst time of my life.”

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She says she was happy to be a part of it and happy for her teammates but doesn’t back down from the “worst” diagnosis. Yeah, you read that right.

“I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat it,” Lloyd said on Julie Foudy’s Laughter Permitted podcast. “It was absolutely the worst time of my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with friends. It really was rock bottom of my entire career. But somehow, you see light at the end of the tunnel, and I can honestly say I’m having more fun now playing than I ever have in my career. I think I just learned a lot throughout it.”

To be fair, Lloyd hasn’t backed up anyone in almost a decade and has since won a Ballon d’Or. Not many elite athletes get used to being second (or fourth) fiddle, especially on a major stage like that.

The personalities on this team are as big as any produced by Ronaldo’s Brazil or Zidane’s France. Some may laugh at this, but it shows what a tremendous job Jill Ellis did in marshaling the team to two-straight World Cups, the first with Abby Wambach in a sub’s role and the second with Lloyd.

It also shows the marvelous competitive nature of Lloyd and the resilience of players who know they’d start for any number of teams in the world. Lloyd says in the podcast that she believed she was playing at near her best level despite being moved from midfielder to forward.

Obviously no player prefers a sub’s role to starting, but — wow — if it isn’t bewildering to hear Lloyd talk about her supporting role at age 37 being the worst time of her life. Different types.

U.S. plays to 1-1 draw in final game for retiring coach Ellis

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CHICAGO — Despite a goal by captain Carli Lloyd, the U.S. women’s national team was held to a 1-1 draw with South Korea on Sunday in the final game for retiring coach Jill Ellis.

Lloyd’s goal tied the game in the 37th minute, matching the score by South Korea’s Ji So-yun three minutes earlier. The draw, which gave the U.S. an 18-1-3 record under Ellis this year, came in front of 33,027 fans at Soldier Field, the third-largest crowd on the American team’s post-World Cup victory tour.

Lloyd appeared to score the go-ahead goal in the 93rd minute but was ruled offside on her shot from eight yards out. In the final minute of stoppage, Mallory Pugh had a point-blank chance but backup goalkeeper Kim Minjung got enough of her shot to deflect it off the crossbar.

Jessica McDonald’s header off the right post in the 83rd minute was the best chance to break the tie. Pugh failed to volley a 7-yard shot past Minjung in the 90th minute. The U.S. outshot South Korea 15-5.

Ellis, 53, was honored before the game with a jersey signed by the team and 132 written on the back, signifying the number of games she coached in a career that began with two stints as interim coach in 2012 and 2014. Her two world coach of the year honors came in 2015 and this year following the American victories in the Women’s World Cup.

While retiring as coach, Ellis will start her role as an ambassador for U.S. Soccer on Monday.

Ji opened the scoring in the 34th minute with an 18-yard shot that sailed just inside the left post, inches from the outstretched hands of American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. That culminated a South Korean ball-control effort that dominated the match for the first 35 minutes. It was Ji’s team-leading 55th career goal.

The U.S. tied the match three minutes later, with Lloyd heading Megan Rapinoe’s long pass over the head of goalkeeper Kang Ga-ae. The set-piece score, coming a minute after a yellow card to South Korea’s Lee Young-ju for an ankle-twisting tackle on Rose Lavelle, was Lloyd’s 13th of the year.

Midfielder Julie Ertz had the best American chance before Lloyd’s goal, left-footing a shot off the right post in the 26th minute after a Korean giveaway. Crystal Dunn’s deep-angle follow-up shot missed the target.

The American team returns to action against Sweden on Nov. 7 in Columbus, Ohio. The coach for that match has not been announced.