[U.S. WOMEN] Tony DiCicco, who coached the USA to the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics and first place at the 1999 Women's World Cup, has rejoined the U.S. women's national team program as head coach of the under-20 team.
DiCicco, head coach of the Boston Breakers of the new WPS set to begin play in 2009, replaces Jillian Ellis, who will join U.S. women's national team head coach Pia Sundhage as an assistant on her staff through the 2008 Olympics, assuming the USA qualifies in April at the CONCACAF Olympic tournament in Juarez, Mexico.
The USA will attempt to qualify for the 2008 U-20 Women's World Cup being held in Chile Nov. 20-Dec. 7. Dates and venues for CONCACAF qualifying have yet to be set. The U-20s' first trip under DiCicco will take place in February when they travel to Chile for three games.
The hiring of DiCicco eliminates any conflict Ellis, the UCLA women's coach, would have with her college commitments.
Ellis, who coached the U-20s for all of 2007 and in the first training camp of 2008, completes Sundhage's staff that also includes assistant coach Erica Walsh, the Penn State head coach, goalkeeper coach Phil Wheddon, and strength and fitness coach Helena Andersson, who worked with Sundhage in Sweden, where she is pursuing her doctoral degree.