CHICAGO (Thursday, September 19, 2002) - Phil Wheddon has been named the full-time goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team, head coach April Heinrichs announced today.
Wheddon joins the Women’s National Team staff after spending two years with the Boston Breakers of the WUSA as their top assistant and goalkeeper coach. Wheddon will also assist Heinrichs with various other projects, including youth national teams, continuing coaching education units and symposiums.
“I'm thrilled to have Phil on our staff,” said Heinrichs. “He's paid his dues by working in the college, professional and national teams program for several years and he's one of the best coaches I've seen train female goalkeepers. Phil’s calm demeanor, articulate nature and excellence in coaching goalkeepers will be a great asset to the Women's National Team and our Youth National Teams program.”
Prior to joining the Breakers, Wheddon was the goalkeeper coach for the MetroStars of Major League Soccer, where he trained Tim Howard, a member of the 2000 Olympic Team and one of the top goalkeepers in MLS. Before his time in MLS, Wheddon was an assistant head coach and goalkeeper coach at Southern Connecticut State University, training both men’s and women’s goalkeepers. He worked with the Owls for three years, helping the men’s team capture back-to-back Division II national titles in 1998 and 1999.
The 6-foot-6 Wheddon has already coached in numerous events with the Women’s National Team, including a trip to the Four Nations Tournament in China in January of 2002, the 2001 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup and the Australia Cup in 2000.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with some of the best goalkeepers and players in the world,” said Wheddon. “It’s a very important time for women’s soccer and the U.S. National Team with qualifying approaching and the Women’s World Cup coming in China. I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the USA win the world championship in 2003.”
Wheddon began his coaching career as an assistant and goalkeeper coach at his alma mater East Stroudsburg State University in 1993. He received his degree in Physical Education and Sports Management in 1994. Wheddon also has a degree in Business Finance from Crewe and Alsager College in England. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and young daughter. Wheddon holds a U.S. Soccer “A” Coaching License.
Next up for the U.S. Women is the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, beginning on Sept. 29 against Russia at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y., and continuing on Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 with the USA taking on Australia and Italy, respectively, in two doubleheaders at the new SAS Park in Cary, N.C.