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US Youth Soccer Names John Ellinger Technical Director

November 6, 2007 09:00 PM

Ellinger brings experience from MLS, NCAA, U.S. Soccer and US Youth Soccer to newly created position within largest youth sport organization

FRISCO, Texas (October 31, 2007) - The United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) announced today that the organization has named John Ellinger to the newly created position of Technical Director.  The new position 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. 

Ellinger 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.

"The addition of John Ellinger to US Youth Soccer's staff is the next step in the continued evolution of our Technical and Coaching Education Department, establishing a complete and focused coaching and player development system in place for our organization," stated Jim Cosgrove, Executive Director, US Youth Soccer.  "John's experience in developing young soccer talent throughout the country, combined with his years of experience both on and off the field, makes him a perfect fit for our more than 3 million youth players and 300,000 youth coaches."

Ellinger became a U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach in 1992, and has held a number of coveted positions since then.  Most notably, he was the coach of the Under-17 U.S. Soccer National Team (1997-2004) and Director of Youth Development (2001-2004).  In his role as coach of the Under-17s, Ellinger also headed up the U.S. Soccer Federation's Bradenton Academy, where many of the United States' most talented youths have been developed.  While at Bradenton, Ellinger had a significant role in developing many of the most outstanding of American soccer players, including Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Edward Johnson, Chad Marshall, Freddy Adu, Eddie Gaven, Danny Szetela and Jonathan Spector. 

""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 Larry Monaco, President, US Youth Soccer.  ""He also brings an impeccable reputation for grooming young talents into accomplished professionals and brings one of the most successful coaching careers in U.S. Men's National Team history. He played a major role in shaping the future of the U.S. Men's National Team and I believe he will play a significant role in the future of our organization."" 

In 2005, he joined Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer to become the new expansion team's first coach.  Previously, Ellinger had one season of professional coaching experience as an assistant coach for the Columbus Crew in its inaugural 1996 season.

""US Youth Soccer has provided me with a great opportunity to further the mission of the organization,"" said John Ellinger, Technical Director, US Youth Soccer.  ""I know first hand the demands that youth players face when advancing through the ranks from recreational to competitive players as well those seeking to play at the collegiate, professional or national team level.  Regardless of their aspiration, we will be able to positively shape and impact their experiences in US Youth Soccer.""   

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America presented Ellinger with the 2006 Youth Long-Term Service Award for outstanding achievement in youth soccer and for contributions that have made a positive impact on the youth soccer environment at their annual convention in January of 2007.

Ellinger began as an educator and coach in the Montgomery County, Maryland, school system.  In 1979, as head coach at Montgomery College (MD), Ellinger lead his squad to a No. 5 ranking in 1980, before moving to a nine-year stint at University of Maryland-Baltimore County (1981-1990).  No stranger to club soccer, he has served as Director of Coaching for Columbia (MD) Soccer Association (1990-1998) and led the Columbia City United boys team to not one but two prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championship titles (1996, 1997). He earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree in health and physical education from Frostburg State University in Maryland.  He and his wife, Tami, have three children: daughters Leigh and Brooke, and son Matt. 

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About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer - The Game for ALL Kids!® is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member state associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game.  For more information, visit

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