Two days after she led the U.S. women to one of their worse defeats in recent history, Jill Ellis has officially stepped down as coach of the U.S. women’s national football team. Ellis, who coached the Stars and Stripes to World Cup glory in Canada 2015, has being going through a rough patch lately with the reigning World Champions and just when it was thought that they had reached their lowest ebb with their failure to medal at the Olympics last year for the first time in history, came Tuesday’s embarrassing 3-0 loss to France in the SheBelieves Cup which resigned the American women to the uncharacteristic position of last place in the tournament as the French women romped to their first major international title.
Reading from a prepared speech at a press conference Ellis said:
“Through the medium of this written statement, I regret to inform you that I, Jill Ellis hereby tender my resignation from my position as coach of the U.S. women’s national team with immediate effect. This past year has been a very tough one for the players and myself especially with our failure to win a medal at the Olympics for the first time in history, coming just over a year after I lead Team USA to its third World Cup. I believe that the retirement of Abby has definitely impacted the team in a negative way. In addition to which, Hope Solo’s suspension because of her big mouth which she obviously can’t keep shut. Had she not called the Swedish team cowards after that Olympic defeat, she may have still been on the team. Frankly speaking, I believe that her playing days are effectively over.”
The England-born coach continued:
“That said, to lose two games in a row in a relatively minor tournament is totally unacceptable. Personally I attribute those losses to the vast improvement of other teams. Particularly the Frenchwomen who definitely seem to be on the upsurge at the moment and with the Lyon women winning their third Champions League last year, it’s quite obvious that there seems to be another changing of the guard in the Women’s game. Congratulations to Les Bleues on their first major tournament win. Who can bet against them winning the Women’s Euro this summer? I know that my replacement whoever he or she is, will have a difficult time restoring Team USA to its previous glories and I have to say that I don’t envy that person one bit. I want to wish them good luck in that regard because they are going to need plenty of it. Thank you for the opportunity to serve at the helm of the U.S. women’s national team, but I must say that I am quite elated that my tenure with you all has now officially ended.”