Category Archives: USWNT

Five (More) Questions With Jill Ellis

Jill Ellis was the featured speaker at theWashington Youth Soccer’s 50th Anniversary Gala. Although born in England she came to America during her formative years, when the first youth soccer boom was well underway. At that time, the U.S. Women’s National Team was in its infancy. Fortunately, one of the team’s early stars was in her midst and guided her development.

Chicago, IL - July 8, 2016: The USWNT trains in preparation for their international friendly against South Africa at Soldier Field.
Jill Ellis shared her influences as a young player and her focus on going forward with the U.S. Women’s National Team. (Courtesy U.S. Soccer)

Who are the early women’s players you wanted to emulate?

Media wasn’t huge back then, so initially it was people within my inner circle. I had only played with boys in England. Here, my teammates–Megan McCarthy who was with the national team, and Julie Cunningham–were players I had tremendous respect for. You didn’t see (the top players) enough to try to emulate, but you held them in high esteem. There was real quality to see. In northern Virginia, Marcia McDermott was an exceptional player and very skillful. The player who was most influential as far as me wanting to get better was April Heinrichs. She was our assistant coach at William & Mary. April came in and was this uber-competitive person, and I loved it. Here was a woman where competition just seethed out of her. It was tremendous. She had great feet and quickness. I remember working on my footwork with her in training. I didn’t see her play for the national team; you didn’t have that kind of access. But in terms of players I respected and admired, April is at the top.

What’s your advice to all youth coaches, whatever the competitive level? Continue reading Five (More) Questions With Jill Ellis

When National Team Was Made in Washington

Every four years there’s an expectation that the United States will win the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and that’s no different in 2015, especially after America’s advancement to the final.

That expectation, that belief, is very much grounded in history and the U.S. National Team’s conquests early on. The reason we truly believe we will win is because, early on, we did.

Anson Dorrance, right, has made UNC women’s soccer the foremost collegiate sports dynasty with 22 national championships. (Courtesy UNC)

In 1991 Anson Dorrance took a young team to China and promptly won the first World Cup. A few years later they won the first Olympic Games and in 1999, of course, the USWNT doubled their number of World Cup stars at the Rose Bowl.

Continue reading When National Team Was Made in Washington