Source: Jill Ellis on D.C. United candidate list

    Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC.

Former U.S. women’s national team manager Jill Ellis is on the list of candidates for the vacant managerial post at D.C. United, a league source confirmed to ESPN.

The Athletic was the first to report Ellis’ candidacy. Other candidates mentioned were former Real Salt Lake and New York City FC manager Jason Kreis, as well as former Schalke 04 manager David Wagner.

The source cautioned that DCU’s coaching search is in the “early stages.” But if hired, Ellis would be the first woman to manage an MLS side.

Ellis, 54, enjoyed a stellar run with the U.S. women from 2014 to 2019, a period in which she led the U.S. to World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019. Including a stint as interim manager in 2012, Ellis compiled a record of 106-7-19.

The only blemish on her tenure was a quarterfinal exit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when the U.S. lost on penalties to Sweden. She stepped down from the U.S. post following the 2019 World Cup victory.

Ellis has since continued to work with the U.S. Soccer Federation in an ambassador role, focusing on increasing the number of women in the coaching ranks. She reportedly was a candidate to be the women’s national team manager of England, a job that current Netherlands women’s manager Sarina Wiegman will assume after next summer’s rescheduled Olympics.

In addition to stints with various U.S. women’s youth national teams, Ellis also had head-coaching stints with women’s programs at the University of Illinois from 1997 to 1999 and UCLA from 1999 to 2010.

D.C. relieved Ben Olsen of managerial duties last week after he had served in the position since 2010. Olsen is expected to take on another role within the organization that is to be determined. Chad Ashton has taken over on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2020 campaign with the club at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

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