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Jill Ellis earns sets new USWNT coaching record in NC homecoming
Americans top South Korea 2-0 in Charlotte friendly
 
Published Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TROY HULL
The United States' Jessica McDonald, right, looks to move the ball against Korea Republic Thursday at the FIFA Women's World Cup victory tour in Charlotte. The U.S. won 2-0, giving coach Jill Ellis a record 106th victory in international competition.

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Jill Ellis’ 106th international soccer win is historic.

The U.S. women’s national team coach entered tonight’s game against the Korea Republic tied with Tony DiCicco for all-time victories. The Americans’ 2-0 FIFA Women’s World Cup victory tour win at Bank of America Stadium allows Ellis to step down following the finale in Chicago on Oct. 6 with the record. She surpassed Pia Sundhage’s 91 wins in April against Belgium in Los Angeles.

Anthony DiCicco, son of the late coach, attended tonight’s match. The family also released a statement congratulating Ellis.

“I just thanked him again for his dad, and what we talked about was that his dad’s legacy is everywhere,” Ellis said. “It’s out on the pitch. It’s Alex Morgan, who he had on his under-20 team. It’s Alyssa Naeher, all these players who he touched through his coaching life. His legacy lives on and I’m a part of that because what he achieved, what all the coaches to me previously achieved, sets you up. They’ve set the bar very high, so it’s a high expectation job, but they’ve also built a hell of a platform for me to be on.”

Breaking the record in North Carolina brings Ellis’ coaching career full circle, as her first paid coaching position was as a graduate assistant at North Carolina State. However, collegiate rivalries for players who attended North Carolina like North Carolina Courage’s Jessica McDonald and Crystal Dunn remains a historical factoid.

“Probably not really mentioned a lot,” Dunn said. “There’s always those rivalries. UNC vs. N.C. State, UNC vs. Duke. That’s what makes this area so special I think is the amount of competitive collegiate organizations that are around.”

Ellis’ accomplishments with the U.S. program are vast. She and midfielder Megan Rapinoe earned The Best FIFA Women’s Coach and The Best FIFA Women’s Player of 2019 respectively in Italy last month. Ellis is the only coach to win two Women's World Cup titles, with Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo on the men’s side (1934, 1938) the only other coach to win two World Cup tournaments. She served seven games as interim coach in 2012, going 5-0-2 and 1-0-1 as interim again in 2014. U.S. Soccer named her permanentl head coach in 2014, and she has gone 99-7-15 since then. Her overall record is 106-7-18.

Game notes:

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe assisted both midfielder Allie Long’s goal in the first half and forward Mallory Pugh in the second.

Attendance was 30,071—the largest crowd for a USWNT match in North Carolina.

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