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Greg Ryan Named Fifth U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach

CHICAGO (April 8, 2005) – Greg Ryan has been named the new Head Coach and Technical Director of U.S. Soccer’s Women’s National Team.  Terms of the deal were not released. Ryan, 48, was previously named the interim head coach after the resignation of April Heinrichs on Feb. 15, and he led the USA to the championship at the 2005 Algarve Cup in early March. In Portugal, the team was undefeated and did not allow a goal over four matches, including a 1-0 victory over Germany in the title game.

Ryan had served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team since January of 2004 and was part of the staff that helped win the Olympic gold medal while setting a record for wins in a calendar year (28) posting a 28-2-4 record. Ryan also served as the U.S. Women’s National Staff Coach for Region IV from 2002 through the end of 2004.

"Greg Ryan has been very impressive in his time with the U.S. Women’s National Team.  We are extremely confident in his ability to lead the team into the next Women's World Cup," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. Bob Contiguglia. "His dedication and passion for coaching is unquestioned, and his knowledge of the women's game in the United States and internationally is tremendous.

"Ryan becomes the fifth head coach in the history of a program that has compiled a record of 262-50-35 since its inception in 1985. The U.S. Women’s National Team has won four world championships – two Women’s World Cup and two Olympics and is the only team in the world to medal in every tournament – finishing in the top three in all seven women’s world championships staged by FIFA since the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.

“I can’t wait to get to work,” said Ryan.  “Being named the head coach is a great honor, but getting out on the field and doing the work is what I enjoy most and that’s what I am looking forward to right now.  As the technical director, the youth teams have always been a big contributor to the success of the National Team and we want to provide our youth teams with the best soccer environment possible.  With the increases in programming we have been able to provide our youth national teams over the past few years, the future looks bright for the U.S. women.”

Ryan will be charged with overseeing the USA’s five youth women’s and girl’s national teams as well as the transition from Under-19 to Under-20 for the next FIFA Women’s Youth World Championship in 2006 in Russia.

“I’m excited about helping to further develop our young and talented players alongside our more experienced veterans,” said Ryan.  “I am confident that the investments we are making now in our best young players will enable them to contribute at the next world championship.  It’s a very exciting time to be taking over this program.”

A USSF “A” licensed coach who has conducted numerous U.S. Soccer Coaching Education and Licensing courses over the past two years, Ryan also has extensive experience in 15 years as a head coach in Division I women’s soccer. He served as the head coach of Colorado College from 1999-2002, compiling a record of 40-28-6. Prior to his stint in Colorado Springs, Ryan was the head women’s soccer coach at Southern Methodist University from 1996-1999, compiling a record of 37-21-5, which included a trip to the NCAA tournament in 1997. Ryan was also the head women’s soccer coach at the University of Wisconsin from 1986-1993, where he lead the Badgers to a 108-32-12 record and five trips to the NCAA tournament. Ryan led UW to two appearances in the NCAA Final Four (1988 and 1991) and one trip to NCAA Championship Game in 1991, where the Badgers fell to North Carolina, 3-1.

Ryan, a former professional player in the North American Soccer League, began his coaching career in 1983 as an assistant with the Colorado College men’s team in between NASL indoor and outdoor seasons. Following the completion of his professional career at the end of 1984, Ryan began his head coaching career at Wisconsin in Madison.

In college, Ryan was a First-Team All-American at Southern Methodist University in 1978, after which he went on to play six seasons in the NASL from 1979-1984. Ryan started his pro career with the Tulsa Roughnecks before being traded to the New York Cosmos in 1979, where he played with Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Georgio Chinaglia. Ryan then was traded to the Chicago Sting, where he played his final five pro seasons.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Ryan returned to SMU after his pro career and earned his BA in biology. He also earned his Teachers Certification in Biology from SMU in 1986.

Ryan, who starts his head coaching reign with a 4-0-0 record, will be the fifth head coach in the team's history, but ironically the second named Ryan.  Mike Ryan (no relation) was the first head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1985, coaching the team through the first four games of the program’s existence.  Following is the all-time list of U.S. Women’s National Team head coaches.

All-Time U.S. WNT Coaches