USWNT head coach Jill Ellis is among the 10 coaches nominated for FIFA’s best women’s coach 2016.
Philippe Bergeroo (France/French national team)
Jill Ellis (USA/US national team)
John Herdman (England/Canadian national team)
Silvia Neid (Germany/German national team)
Vera Pauw (Netherlands/South African national team)
Gérard Prêcheur (France/Olympique Lyonnais)
Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Swedish national team)
Oswaldo Vadão (Brazil/Brazilian national team)
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany/Swiss national team)
Thomas Wörle (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
Voting is done by a combination of team captains, head coaches, media representatives, and fans in an online public ballot. The voting period runs from November 4 through 22.
Ellis previously won FIFA’s World Coach of the Year award in 2015, the year the USWNT won the World Cup.
Due to the lack of visibility of women’s club soccer, FIFA women’s awards tend to be heavily influenced by international results. Generally whoever wins that year’s major tournament is a strong contender for top three, if not the outright winner. In a year with no tournament, name recognition takes over, which is how you get Marta winning five years in a row from 2006 through 2010.
2016 is, of course, the year that the USWNT got booted from the Olympics in quarterfinals after losing a penalty shootout to Sweden. Still, Ellis is probably a decent contender based on name recognition and last year’s win. Sundhage and Neid are probably at the top of the list as well, Sundhage for shoving Sweden’s square peg through a bunch of round holes to get them into the gold medal match at the Olympics, and Neid for beating Sweden to ultimately take gold for Germany.
Interestingly enough Philippe Bergeroo is on this list despite being fired as France’s head coach in September and replaced by someone who openly admitted to knowing nothing about women’s soccer. So, as always, take the award with a grain of salt.