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Jill Ellis era comes to a close with second USA/Korea friendly

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How will the future remember the Jill Ellis years?

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Korea Republic v United States - USWNT Victory Tour Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There are probably two notes to take into this game: first, Casey Short has been added to the roster, once again in an attempt to help the rest of a very exhausted USWNT roster with their load management. And second, this is the last game for the United States women with Jill Ellis as head coach.

The results of this game won’t matter to Ellis’ coaching career, barring a 7-0 blowout by South Korea. With the team’s last win over Korea, she already became the winningest coach in program history, passing Tony DiCicco with 106 wins.

In her time as the USWNT head coach, she also brought home two World Cups - but also dropped a real brick during the 2016 Olympics. She was prone to head-scratching player decisions (whither Lindsey Horan in France?) but also never seemed to lose the locker room, at least not the way her predecessor Tom Sermanni did. She lost while using some sub-optimal formations, but she was also willing to try and give the team more tools to use than the 4-4-2. Will she be remembered as a two-time World Cup winner, or someone who succeeded in spite of herself, given the absurd amount of talent she had to work with? Will she move on to a job where she might not have the same safety net of talent to cover up tactical errors? Will she find success to show her USWNT career wasn’t a fluke? Can you call two consecutive World Cup wins a fluke, or is it fair to take into account things like injuries forcing her hand on roster decisions and lucky calls that went in the US’ favor?

These and more are all things that you might ponder while the WNT plays out what will probably be a 70% pace game against South Korea. That’s not a knock on them; honestly, NWSL fans should hope for a 70% pace (or slower) game. Speaking of which, here’s a projected starting XI, although who can say if Ellis will try for consistency, will rotate the roster, or will simply want to do something fun for her last game in charge.

Possible starting XI

Time, TV, and streaming

USA vs South Korea, game 2
Sunday, October 6
2 PM ET / 11 AM PT
ESPN
Stream with fubo