[MLS TRANSACTIONS: FC Dallas] John Ellinger, who started the U.S. under-17 residency program and served as Real Salt
Lake's head coach for its launch, is retiring from Major League Soccer after five seasons as the FC Dallas assistant to spend more time with his family in Maryland.
“When I took this position with FC Dallas, I wanted someone with me who had been a coach in the league, who had been a head coach and was someone I had known for many years,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman in a statement. “John is not only someone who I consider to be one of the best coaches in the country, but also somebody who I consider to be a personal friend who brings trust and loyalty. His value and contribution to FC Dallas have been immeasurable. I know it has been a difficult year for him being separated from his family and while he is looking forward to reuniting with them, he will be very much missed here at FC Dallas.”
Ellinger's 1999 U.S. under-17 national team includes Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu and Bobby Convey, who all went on to play in the World Cup.
After three cycles as U-17 head coach, Ellinger was named the RSL head coach and served from its launch in the 2005 until midway through the 2007 season when he became the team’s technical director before briefly working at to U.S. Youth Soccer.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with FC Dallas,” said Ellinger. “Not only has it been enjoyable helping Schellas build something here, I’ve also enjoyed the time I’ve had with so many players I coached as youth with the U.S. Residency program. It was fun to spend time with them both in their developmental years and again as professionals. I’d like to thank the coaches, staff, front office, players and fans for making my time here such a great experience. While I’m happy to be going home to spend time with my family, I will definitely miss many of the wonderful people here in Dallas.”
The 61-year-old Ellinger will return to Maryland, where he began his coaching career, first at JC power Montgomery College-Rockville and then Division I UMBC.