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Jillian Ellis Named Coach of U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team

CHICAGO (March 19, 2009) – U.S. Women’s National Team assistant coach Jillian Ellis has been named the head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team as it begins a new cycle that will hopefully culminate with the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, scheduled for the summer of 2010 in Germany.

Ellis is the current head coach at UCLA where she has led the Bruins to seven NCAA Final Fours. She served as the U-20 coach during the previous cycle, leading the team during 2007 before moving to the full Women’s National Team staff under Sundhage in January of 2008. Ellis was part of the gold medal winning coaching staff at the 2008 Olympics in China will continue to serve on U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage’s staff for selected events and training camps.

Upon her move to the full Women’s National Team, Tony DiCicco took over the U-20s and led the team to the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship in Chile, the USA’s second title at this age level.

The team recently completed their first international event with in this U-20 cycle, facing the U-20 teams of Norway, France and Germany in La Manga, Spain. Players born on or after January 1, 1990, are age-eligible for the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The team took silver at the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the young Americans beat Canada’s full women’s national team in the semifinal before falling to Brazil’s senior team in the championship game.

Ellis takes over a program that has historically had a significant impact on the future Women’s National Team players. Numerous players who have made a major impact on the full national team have represented the USA at past FIFA U-19 and U-20 tournaments, including Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly, Leslie Osborne, Lori Chalupny, Amy Rodriguez, Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Lauren Cheney and Tobin Heath, to name a few.

Working closely with Ellis will be Dave Chesler, who takes over as the head coach of the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team, a program that was designed to give international competition to players who have just finished a cycle with the U.S. U-17s, but are perhaps a year away from making an impact on the next U-20 cycle.

Chesler is currently the Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Boise Capital Soccer Club in Meridian, Idaho. He was Idaho Youth Soccer Association Director of Coaching and Player Development from 2004-2006 and has also served as an assistant coach for various U.S. youth national teams, most notably working with Ellis as an assistant at the 2007 Pan Am Games. Chesler, who has a U.S. Soccer “A” license, was the head men’s soccer coach at Fresno State from 1997-2004.