Sydney Leroux says USWNT won 2015 and 2019 World Cup 'in spite of' Jill Ellis

Former USWNT forward Sydney Leroux wasn’t too torn up about coach Jill Ellis leaving the program. While Ellis presided over two World Cup titles during her tenure, Leroux believes the USWNT won games “in spite of” Ellis.

Leroux, 30, made those comments on The Crack Podcast, hosted by former USMNT stars DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu. While Leroux said she liked Ellis as a person, Leroux wasn’t a huge fan of Ellis as a coach.

Relevant comments begin at the 48-minute mark:

When asked about whether players liked Ellis, Leroux responds, “I think not hearing much from anyone when she left should probably be enough.” Leroux added that the players on the women’s team were responsible for team tactics, saying, “I think we could have won the World Cup without a coach.”

Leroux also didn’t appreciate how Ellis handled things following Leroux’s pregnancy.

“When I was coming back after Cassius, my coach called her and he was like, ‘What’s the situation with Syd? How would you like to do this?’ She goes, ‘You know, she had a really poor 2016.’ I didn’t play a game in 2016. I was pregnant. So, it was like, she had already had her mind picked out of what was going to happen regardless of how I came back or not. And so that left a really bad taste in my mouth.”

Leroux was a member of the 2015 USWNT World Cup squad, and she was not on the roster in 2019. Both teams were coached by Ellis and won the title. Leroux believes the 2015 team won “in spite of” Ellis.

“In 2015, maybe the same thing in 2019, I don’t know, but I think people, and I, can say that we won in spite of her. She’s not good for people’s mental health, that’s for sure. The best thing was for her to go.”

Ellis stepped down in July 2019. She was replaced by Vlatko Andonovski.

While Leroux didn’t love Ellis as a coach, Leroux feels Andonovski was the right choice, saying “I think Vlatko is going to do an amazing job. He’s a great coach. He’s a good person. So I’m excited to see what he does with the national team.”

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