Who Is Jill Ellis? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Coach — Including Why Hope Solo's Criticizing Her In The Press

Will she lead the U.S. women's soccer team to a World Cup win?

Who Is Jill Ellis? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Coach — Including Why Hope Solo's Criticizing Her In The Press Getty Images

The US Women's Soccer Team just won 13-0 against Thailand — but not everybody's happy about this new development. On a recent podcast, legendary soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo took the time to trash the coach and her leadership skills (or, more accurately, her lack thereof). Who is Jill Ellis?

The FIFA Women's World Cup is, in a nutshell, the biggest deal in sports. And the US Women's Soccer team is showing that they can show up and show out on the field. According to CNN, the team's 13-0 defeat of Thailand is "the heaviest defeat in World Cup history," but even when women athletes win, they can't seem to win. In addition to the team coming under fire for "rambunctious" celebrations (did anyone ever question Cristiano Ronaldo's way of enjoying a win? We think not.), Jill Ellis has come under fire by her former charges for how she's "managing" her team. While the focus should be on the US Women's Soccer Team's historic win, it's instead on the coach and her alleged mishandling of the (victorious!) team.


Here’s what we know about the accomplished — if controversial — coach.

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1. Hope Solo said Jill Ellis is a terrible coach.

According to CNN, Hope Solo said that Jill Ellis is a terrible coach who doesn’t know how to lead her team. She also said that any success the team achieved was as a result of their hard work, not Ellis’s direction.

"She's not the leader I wish her to be. She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But oftentimes that doesn't matter because the quality of the players on the US team is superb. We have a winning tradition, and it doesn't matter oftentimes who's coaching us because we'll find a way to win," she said, according to the outlet.


Hope Solo also added that Ellis didn’t want the team to see their mistakes and tried to sweep them under the rug.

Hope Solo isn't exactly a fan of Jill Ellis.

2. But Jill Ellis took the high road.

It seemed as though Hope's comments were a moot point, especially after the US Women's Team's win. So it was no surprise that Jill Ellis took the high road, according to Sporting News


"For me, personally, I feel over the past five years I've made a lot of important decisions and I have processes to make those decisions, and I own those processes. At this point, everything and every focus is about this group of players that are here and now. Pundits out there, that's part of it. And part of the message is always to make sure that the focus is on the internal part of the game. And that's where we are," she said, according to the outlet.

Jill Ellis has come under fire for her team's behavior.


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3. The sports press has come out in support of Jill Ellis.

According to Fox News, Heather O’Reilly — who was once Hope Solo’s teammate — echoed Solo’s statements about Jill Ellis. She admitted that the US Women’s Soccer Team “is not perfect,” but hesitated to add that she usually keeps quiet about the team and doesn’t like to wash her proverbial dirty laundry outside the house.

“I think all teams go through highs and lows in a tournament and I like to keep anything that goes on in the team in-house,” O’Reilly said to the outlet. “I am very private about the good times and the bad times of things that happened throughout the national team. I think the national team has shown they are not perfect, Jill Ellis is not perfect, coaching staff is not perfect, the team is not always perfect but they have a really high standard of excellence and I think that is what we should focus on and that’s what we should appreciate.”

But according to Yahoo Sports, the sports press seems to be on the side of the controversial, yet accomplished, coach — even though her team is a little rambunctious in celebrating their wins. 


"In their opener at the women’s World Cup, held in France on Tuesday, the American team bested Thailand 13-0. This led not to joy, or pride, or flag-waving. No, folks. Instead, the mad-talented team was openly criticized for scoring too much and celebrating too hard. Apparently, some people think it’s bad manners to be great at your job and to be proud of it, too. But, this kind of thinking is nuts and bad for all genders," they wrote.

4. Could Jill Ellis’s issues with coaching stem from the fact that she’s not a coach by trade?

According to The Athletic, Jill Ellis isn’t a soccer coach by trade. In fact, she’s in her “second career” as a soccer coach, which is why she’s not as experienced in handling team issues as another, more experienced coach would be.

“The 23-year-old had an undergraduate degree from William & Mary, a master’s degree from North Carolina State and a good-paying job at a telecommunications company in North Carolina, typing up manuals and doing other technical writing. She was the first in the family to attend college. Now, as the first to work in corporate America, she could make a living that surpassed his modest wages as a soccer coach,” wrote the outlet

It should be interesting to see if Jill Ellis is more accepted in the future.


Could the non-acceptance of Jill Ellis be due to her gender?

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.