Soccer: Ellis to step down as head coach of U.S. women's team

Soccer: Ellis to step down as head coach of U.S. women's team
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - United States Press Conference - Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France - July 6, 2019 coach of the U.S. Jill Ellis during the press conference REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo Copyright Bernadett Szabo(Reuters)
By Reuters
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(Reuters) - Jill Ellis, who led the U.S. women's national soccer team to consecutive World Cup victories, will step down as head coach in early October, U.S. Soccer said on Tuesday.

Ellis, 52, said her decision to step aside as coach of the reigning World Cup champions after its victory tour was in line with the timeline she envisioned when she was first named to the job in May 2014.

"The timing is right to move on and the programme is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women's soccer," Ellis, who has a record of 102-7-18, said in a statement. "Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment."

At this year's World Cup in France, Ellis guided her squad to victory in each of their seven games in what was arguably the greatest achievement in the program's history, three years after they missed out on a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Ellis won eight tournaments as U.S. coach: the 2015 Algarve Cup, the 2015 World Cup, 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship, 2016 SheBelieves Cup, 2018 SheBelieves Cup, 2018 Tournament of Nations, 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship and 2019 World Cup.

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.

Ellis will continue on with U.S. Soccer for at least the next year as an ambassador, which will include representing the Federation at events.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Graff)

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