Phil Neville

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Neville to leave England women’s job before rescheduled Euros

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LONDON — Phil Neville will step down from coaching the England women’s team when his contract expires next year, missing out on leading the country at the rescheduled European Championship in 2022.

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The former Manchester United player could still coach the British Olympic team. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Games have been pushed back a year to July 2021 – the endpoint for Neville’s England contract.

Sue Campbell, the English Football Association’s director of women’s football, said she “will now discuss next steps” about the Olympics with the British Olympic Association and the federations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Olympics start in July 2021.

The 43-year-old Neville, who took charge of England in January 2018, took the Lionesses to the semifinals of the World Cup last year in his first job in women’s football.

But seven of the last 11 games have been lost, a dismal run that started with the semifinal loss to the U.S. and included a defeat in a reunion with the world champions at the invitational SheBelieves Cup last month.

England only has friendly matches until the European Championship since it qualified as hosts for a tournament that was due to be staged in July 2021.

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The coronavirus outbreak led to the men’s Euros being postponed until 2021, which led on Thursday to UEFA confirming the need to delay its women’s showpiece until July 6-31 2022.

“As a result of the changes to the proposed tournament scheduling we will now be working to plan for a revised match calendar once it is safe and appropriate to do so,” Neville said. “I am looking forward to getting back to work with the team as soon as possible. We have a fantastic squad of players and there is plenty to work on as we look to progress as a team going into 2021.”

The FA wants the same manager in charge of England’s next two tournaments.

“In light of the impact of current global events on the sporting calendar and in the best interests of the England Women’s team, both parties were in agreement that our shared priority was to ensure the Lionesses have continuity of coaching going into the home EURO and looking towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup,” Campbell said.

“Once football returns after this difficult period, Phil will continue his work with the Lionesses on the further development of his squad. I will support him fully with that important task whilst moving forward with the crucial succession planning process.”

English women attract record crowd but lose to Germany

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LONDON — A record crowd of 77,768 for English women’s soccer saw fresh struggles for Phil Neville‘s side in a 2-1 loss to Germany at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

England has now lost five of its last seven games, starting with the World Cup semifinal loss to the United States in July.

“I’m really sorry we couldn’t get the result,” England forward Ellen White addressed fans on the field.

White did turn things around for England just before halftime, canceling out Alexandra Popp’s ninth-minute header.

But just when the Lionesses were preparing to celebrate claiming a draw against the world’s second-ranked team, Klara Buhl struck in stoppage time.

As the rain fell in north London, there won’t have seemed much to celebrate for the hosts.

But the English attracted what appears to be the biggest-ever crowd for a women’s friendly, anywhere.

The previous best-attended women’s game was in 1999 when more than 90,000 watched the U.S. beat China in the World Cup final at the Rose Bowl in California.

The next biggest crowd came at Wembley in the 2012 London Olympics when just over 80,000 saw the U.S. beat Japan.

The increased interest in the Lionesses is highlighted by the fact Wembley has added around 30,000 fans to the attendance that saw England lose to Germany at the stadium five years ago.

Phil Neville plays down USWNT reports

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A report from the UK had suggested that Phil Neville was in the running to become the next USWNT head coach, but the England women’s boss has poured cold water on the links.

Speaking after England lost 2-1 at Norway in a friendly on Tuesday, Neville said he was happy being in charge of the Lionesses as he is also due to take charge of Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.

“There’s been no approach,” Neville said. “My focus is on winning us a gold medal in the Olympics. It’s flattering because it means you’re doing a good job. My focus is England. I love this job.”

The former Manchester United and England defender then went on to reaffirm his commitment to England and the Football Association, as he was named as one of the three finalists for the coach of the year in the women’s game by FIFA last week.

“I’ve been linked with a number of jobs since becoming England manager and that’s because my players have been so good,” Neville said. “I’ve said before, I love the job I am doing, it’s a tremendous challenge. The players are heading in the right direction and I get backed unbelievably by the FA. So I am 100 per cent happy.”

With 18 months under his belt as head coach of England, he led his squad to the World Cup semifinal where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions the U.S. but the jury is still out as the Lionesses were expected to at least reach the final four in France this summer.

It isn’t clear how serious of a contender Neville ever was for the USWNT job.

With Jill Ellis stepping down as head coach in October after delivering back-to-back World Cup victories, the USWNT are searching for their next manager with NWSL coaches Paul Riley, Laura Harvey and Vlatko Andonovski all leading candidates.

New USWNT GM Kate Markgraf will be narrowing down the search in the next few weeks and given Neville’s relative inexperience as a coach, it would be incredibly surprising to see him interviewed for this position.

The initial report stated that Ellis is a big fan of Neville and she would have a big say in appointing her successor, but it would still be a huge shock if Neville landed the biggest job in the women’s game.

Stanway scores stunner but England women fall to Norway

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The England women’s national team took an early lead on an absolutely fabulous strike from Manchester City forward Georgia Stanway, but capitulated as Norway came from behind to beat Phil Neville‘s squad 2-1 in the team’s second international friendly since the World Cup.

The result comes just days after the squad coughed up a 2-0 lead to Belgium in an eventual 3-3 draw.

Stanway will still receive headlines for her stunning effort from well outside the penalty area struck with power and pace that found the top corner off the underside of the bar. Norwegian goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth gave the effort a go but had no chance at stopping the strike as it curled away from her dive.

Norway’s comeback started just after halftime as Frida Maanum headed home off a corner in the 53rd minute, and Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen scored a fantastic solo goal through a Steph Houghton challenge in the 89th minute for a dramatic winner.

Neville has work to do after the two straight collapses as he gets his squad together in the aftermath of a fourth-place finish at the World Cup this past summer. England topped Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinal of that run, leaving an even more sour taste in the Lionesses mouths after today’s defeat.

The loss comes a day after reports in England claimed Neville was a candidate for the vacant U.S. women’s coaching job, but those reports were very quickly shot down by the U.S. media.

USWNT, England set for World Cup semi showdown

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Planning ahead or arrogance? That’s the question being overblown asked of the United States women’s national team following England coach Phil Neville‘s revelation that USWNT operations people were given a tour of England’s team hotel.

As the “home team,” England has the better of the lodging for the semifinal, and the USWNT hopes to be taking its place for Sunday’s Final against either the Netherlands or Sweden.

[ MORE: Will Ellis change XI? ]

So is showing up early presumptuous or just proper preparation?

“I just thought, ‘What are they doing?'” Neville said of the Americans. “It’s not etiquette, really. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”

What he will allow is what both teams provide, and that’s excellent team soccer. Tuesday’s match has the chance to be a wide-open entertaining match as two tough back lines hope to defy some of the best attackers in the world.

England has only allowed one goal in the tournament, a late concession in its 2-1 tournament-opening defeat of Scotland. That means the Lionesses count shutouts of Norway and Japan on their resume, and that’s pretty impressive.

Meanwhile the U.S. is coming off some tepid offensive performances, at least by their standards. The Yanks passed at just 64 percent in the 2-1 defeat of France, and their 2-1 defeat of Spain came courtesy of a pair of penalty kicks.

Fortunately for Jill Ellis’ crew, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was much better in the latter of the 2-1 wins. The 31-year-old was mostly untested and shaky in the run-up to France, but outstanding in holding onto the lead.

England has become a force on the international scene, and is in its second-straight World Cup semifinal. They won the SheBelievesCup, and finished in the semifinals at EURO 2017.

Ellen White has been a handful for teams, scoring five times in four matches. She also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of the USMNT at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

There’s every reason to believe it’ll be a beauty at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday. You’ll be able to stream it live on Telemundo Deportes.