A huge report dropped Friday that linked two-time World Cup-winning manager Jill Ellis to not one, but two Sacramento pro soccer teams in the near future.
Ellis will hold a front office role with Sacramento’s NWSL and MLS teams, according to a report by The Athletic. Details from NWSL writer Meg Linehan includes the tidbit that Ellis is expected to oversee soccer operations for both clubs, and she’s already been serving as a sporting point person for Sacramento’s NWSL side.
The NWSL team, officially announced by league commissioner Lisa Baird earlier this month, is slated to enter the league on the field in 2022, while the MLS expansion side — presumably under the Sacramento Republic brand — is currently on track to begin play in the top flight in 2023.
Sacramento team officials have not responded to a request for comment on the Ellis report from Indomitable City Soccer at time of publication.
Ellis, 54, has held a relatively low profile since leaving the U.S. Women’s National Team after the 2019 World Cup triumph, the team’s and her second consecutive World Cup title. The English-American coach came through the college ranks, really making a name as head coach of UCLA, and holding a longtime role as USWNT youth coach, before becoming the senior team boss in 2014.
She’s been linked in the press to coaching jobs since departing the U.S. set-up, including several reports she was interviewed to become the D.C. United head coach in recent months, which would have made her the first woman to serve as a head coach in MLS history. In the end, D.C. recently appointed a man, Hernan Losada, as head coach.
The Sacramento role is certainly intriguing, and in some ways it makes sense for Ellis to branch out to a new role in her career after reaching the absolute peak of the women’s game. And do I think there’s a chance she could still become the manager of the Sacramento NWSL team? Yes, potentially. But a front office job that oversees men’s and women’s top flight sides would also be groundbreaking in American soccer for a woman. So we’ll see what happens, but this is certainly an intriguing report. Stay tuned.
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