(Reuters) - Jill Ellis, who coached the United States to a Women’s World Cup title last month, agreed to a multi-year contract extension to remain in charge of the national team, U.S. Soccer said on
“When we hired Jill, we all knew the great challenge that was ahead of her and the team,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in a statement.
”She met that challenge with tremendous passion and knowledge to win what was perhaps the most difficult Women’s World Cup tournament in history.
“As we look towards the Rio Olympics and build towards the 2019 World Cup in France, we think Jill is the ideal person to lead the next generation of the women’s national team.”
British-born Ellis, 48, took over as head coach in May 2014 with just over a year to get ready for the Women’s World Cup in Canada, after previous coach Tom Sermanni was dumped.
The United States topped their World Cup group and then won three elimination games without conceding a goal to reach the final where they crushed defending champions Japan 5-2.
Including two stints as interim head coach (in 2012 and 2014), Ellis has compiled an overall record of 29 wins, nine draws and two defeats.
An assistant for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning squads, Ellis will now focus on preparing the team for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament slated to take place early in 2016.
”We are going to have some turnover on the National Team as we look towards the Olympics and the next Women’s World Cup in France, but that’s always part of the natural evolution,“ said Ellis. ”It will be the job of the players and staff to keep up the world-class level of effort and intensity to meet the high
expectations of this program.
“It’s a challenge we are all looking forward to.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Andrew Both.