John Ellinger, coach of the most successful U.S. U-17 boys national team and most recently coach of MLS's Real Salt Lake, has become the first Technical Director of The United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer).
In the newly created position, Ellinger will will head the US Youth Soccer Technical and Coaching Education Department and will be responsible for designing and systematically implementing player development and coaching education programs to improve the overall standard of play within the United States.
He will be responsible for all aspects of the association's coaching initiatives, including a renewed focus on player development with consistent themes and coaching education.
The department will collaborate with technical and coaching education experts at the state and club levels, ensuring that US Youth Soccer maintains the relevancy of its programs and events, and the association's storied player development and identification programs.
Ellinger became a U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach in 1992.
He was the coach of the Under-17 U.S. Soccer National Team (1997-2004) and Director of Youth Development (2001-2004). He headed up the U.S. Soccer Federation's Bradenton Academy, which was launched in 1999, the year in which he guided the USA to a fourth-place finish at the U-17 World Cup with a team that included Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and Oguchi Onyewu.
"John has an understanding of successful player development at all levels and a passion for youth players and our game, and this will provide a wide canvas from which our players and coaches will benefit," said US Youth Soccer President Larry Monaco.
Ellinger left the U-17 program in 2005 to coach MLS expansion team Real Salt Lake. He served as Real Salt Lake head coach from 2005 until May 2007.