May 16, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
The US Women finally have a permanent head coach for their stretch run to the 2013 World Cup in Canada, and it’s Jill Ellis.
Put in charge for the interim after Tom Sermanni was fired in early April, Ellis now has the permanent job, US Soccer announced.
Having previously coached at UCLA and also serving as the developmental director for the United States, Ellis was also the interim choice after Pia Sundhage departed in 2012 before Sermani took the job.
“Jill has been on the bench for more senior and Youth Women’s National Team matches than perhaps any coach in United States history,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “She has worked at this for many years and has tremendous knowledge of our player pool and the qualities of multiple generations of players.”
Ellis will make her debut as permanent head coach against France in a pair of friendlies, one in Tampa on June 14 and one in Hartford days later.
It seemed the biggest threat to Ellis grabbing the permanent job was Tony Gustavvson, the current head coach of Swedesh club Tyresö that has made the Champions League finals this season.
However, just because Ellis was appointed does not mean Gustavvson couldn’t still earn a position of some sort among the USWNT staff, as Christine Rampone wished for earlier this week.
With rumblings of an uncomfortable player setting under Sermanni, the pick of Ellis is important because she is widely respected by the players, according to most reports. In addition, as the now former head of development for the national team, she has a wide knowledge of the youth and fringe players, as evident in her call-ups for the most recent match against Canada.
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