At a press conference Thursday afternoon, U.S. Soccer named April Heinrichs at Technical Director and Jill Ellis as the Development Director for the U.S. Women’s National Teams. The announcement was made by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.
U.S. Soccer said that Heinrichs, the USWNT head coach from 2000-2005 and captain of the USWNT that won the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will provide technical direction for women’s soccer in the United States, as it relates to the U.S. Women’s National Teams with a focus on the Under-20s and younger, while overseeing the U.S. Under-20 and U.S. U-18 Women’s National Teams.
“I’m very much looking forward to getting back on the field again and working with our nation’s best players, coaches and staff, as well as working collaboratively with the girls’ and women’s soccer community to enhance player development across the nation,” said Heinrichs. “It is an honor to have been selected for this role given the many great coaches that applied, and I will do my best to serve our new team, U.S. Soccer and the women’s game.”
Ellis will take the lead on interacting directly with key coaches within the youth club environment while also guiding and directing the U.S. U-17s, U-15s and U-14s. Both Heinrichs and Ellis hold USSF “A” coaching licenses.
In order to take this position, Ellis had to step down as the head coach of the UCLA women’s soccer team. UCLA assistant coach, BJ Snow, was named as Ellis’ replacement as the Bruins’ head coach.
“I am excited and energized for the new challenges ahead with U.S. Soccer, but also sad to depart an amazing university with so many wonderful friendships and memories,” Ellis said during Thursday’s conference call. “UCLA has been my home for the past 12 years, and college soccer my life for over 21 years, but I am ready to help U.S. Soccer in their commitment to continue the evolution of our women’s game.”