England v USA – A Long and Successful History of Female head Coaches

England and the USA are two of the biggest teams in women’s football, both with a long history of female head coaches. On Friday 7th October, they face each other in a friendly at Wembley, and they haven’t met since 2019.

To celebrate this long and successful history of women coaching both teams, the FCN will be posting stats and live photos and videos from the game on their twitter and instagram pages throughout the game.

A look at the stats:

  • Across both teams, there have 25 Head Coaches, with 8 of those being women. That’s a percentage of 25%.
  • Of all the major tournamnets won by England, female coaches have won 100% of them
  • Of all the major tournaments won by the USA, female coaches have won 62.5% of them
  • Since the year 2000, all major tournaments won by both teams have been won by a female head coach.
  • The highest winning percentage across all coaches is Sarina Weigman, with a winning percentage of 90.9%, although she is the only coach on the list below who is still coaching the team. Next to that is Pia Sundhage with a winning percentage of 85%.

Below is the list of female coaches for each team, along with their winning percentage:

Lauren Gregg (USA) 1997 & 2000 – 75%

Hope Powell (England) 1998 – 2013 – 66.7%

April Heinrichs (USA) 2000 – 2004 – 70%

Pia Sundhage (USA) 2007 – 2012 – 85%

Mo Marley (England) 2017 – 2018 – 66.7%

Hege Riise (England) 2021 – 33.3%

Sarina Wiegman (England) 2021 – continued – 90.9%


The England women’s national football team, also known as the Lionesses, have been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women’s Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland.

Hope Powell

Hope Powell was England’s first female coach taking up the role in 1998 all the way through to 2013. She took England to four European tournaments, with 2009 being their best result loosing in the final and they reached the quarter finals of the World Cup in 2007 and 2011.

Hope was also the Head Coach for the innaugral Team GB sqaud for the London 2012 Olympic, which the team once again reached the quarter finals.

As well as managing the England senior team, Powell oversaw the whole structure from Under-15s to the Under-23s, a coach mentoring scheme and The FA’s National Player Development Centre at Loughborough University. In May 2009 Powell’s administration implemented central contracts, to help players focus on full-time training and playing, without having to fit it around full-time employment. Initially 17 players signed contracts.In 2003 Powell became the first woman to achieve the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification available.

Hope had a winning record of 50.3%

Mo Marley

Mo Marley is the unsung hero of women’s football in England.

Marley was a centre back, who captained both the England women’s national football team and Everton, turning out 41 times for England between 1995 and 2001.

Marley had a 24-year association with Everton, joining the club in their former incarnation as Leasowe Pacific in 1988. She won the 1989 Women’s FA Cup and captained the team to the FA Women’s Premier League title in 1997–98. After taking over as manager in 2002 — sacking her husband to do so — she led Everton to the 2008 FA Women’s Premier League Cup and the 2010 FA Women’s Cup. Marley led Everton into the UEFA Women’s Champions League on three occasions, before standing down as manager in October 2012. After a three year spell as England U-21 women‘s manager she is currently the Under 23 side head.

Mo was the interim Head Coach of the Lionesses from 2017 – 2018, with a winning record of 66.7%

Hege Riise

Hege Riise was appointed as a coach with the England Women’s team in January 2021, following the departure of previous head coach Phil Neville.

After retiring as a player in 2006 following a spell with Team Strommen, she moved into coaching and helped LSK Kvinner dominate the Norwegian league, with six consecutive titles for the Lillestrom-based club who she served as head coach since 2017. 

Before that, she was assistant coach of the United States, helping guide the team to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011 and winning Olympic gold in 2012.

As caretaker coach in 2021, Hege had a winning record of 33.3%

Sarina Weigman

 Originally Appeared at FA.COM: https://www.englandfootball.com/womens-senior-team/squad/Sarina-Wiegman

Sarina will be forever remembered in English football history, after becoming the first coach to lead the Lionesses to a major title when England won UEFA EURO 2022 on home soil.

Not only was it historic for the Lionesses, but also for Wiegman as she became the first coach to win back-to-back tournaments having led her native Netherlands to the EURO 2017 title five years earlier.

Widely regarded as one of the best international coaches in the women’s game, Sarina began her role as England head coach in September 2021. That was over a year after her appointment had been confirmed in July 2020, with her commitments as Netherlands coach for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics keeping her in her homeland until the start of England’s 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Her success with the Netherlands was unrivalled. She successfully led her home nation to a UEFA Women’s EURO victory as the host nation in 2017 and was duly named Best FIFA Women’s Coach in the same year, before guiding them to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. In her playing days as a midfielder, Wiegman gained 104 caps for her country becoming the first female player to reach a century of appearances and she captained the national side during an impressive career. 

And after moving into coaching, she’s remained a trailblazer in her homeland and become one of the big names in the women’s game. After starting out coaching with girls’ grassroots teams in her local region of the Hague once her career on the pitch came to an end, her club coaching career began with a season-long spell with her former club Ter Leede. She duly led them to the title and KNVB Cup in 2007, before her first move into full-time coaching came in 2007 when she took over at ADO Den Haag in the newly formed Women’s Eredivisie. 

Among the many highlights, she became the third Dutch female to earn the UEFA Pro Licence in 2016 and then, later the same year, she was the first woman to coach with a men’s professional club in her homeland following a season-long spell as an assistant with Sparta Rotterdam. Wiegman quickly caught the eye too, by building a team and culture which would lead to them winning a league and cup double in 2012 before retaining the Cup in the following season.

 This didn’t go un-noticed by the KNVB, and she was snapped up to be the assistant coach with the national team in 2014, working under Roger Reijners and then Arjan Van der Laan. In 2015, the Dutch reached the quarter final of the Women’s World Cup in Canada and Wiegman was starting to see the potential within their ranks. After two spells as caretaker coach following the departures of Reijners and Van der Laan, she was finally granted the head coach role on a permanent basis in January 2017 – the start of an extraordinary year which would see her profile catapulted into another dimension both at home and abroad.

Sarina’s winning percentage so far is: 90.9%


The United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women’s soccer. The team is the most successful in international women’s soccer, winning four Women’s World Cup titles (199119992015, and 2019), four Olympic gold medals (199620042008, and 2012), and nine CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women’s soccer from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football).

Lauren Gregg

Lauren Gregg was the USA teams first female coach as interim in 1997 and again in 2000.

Gregg was the head coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of Virginia from 1986 to 1995. During her tenure, she led the team to the NCAA Final Four in 1991 and seven consecutive NCAA tournament bids from 1988 to 1994. In 1990, she was named the NSCAA Coach of the Year becoming the first woman to receive the honor. She was also the first woman to lead a team to the NCAA Division I Final Four. She was an assistant coach for the United States women’s national team that won the 1991 and 1999 Women’s World Cups and gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics.[7]

Gregg served as head coach for the United States under-21 women’s national soccer team and guided the team to Nordic Cup championship titles in 1997 and 1999. She was interim head coach of the U.S. national team for one match in 1997 against South Korea (which finished as a 6–1 win) as Tony DiCicco missed the match due to a family commitment.  She again served as the interim head coach for three games in 2000 at the Australia Cup after DiCicco stepped down.

In 2007, Gregg was inducted into the Virginia–D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame for meritorious service.

Lauren had a winning percentage of 75%

April Heinrichs

April Heinrichs is an American former soccer player and coach. She was among the first players on the United States women’s national soccer team, and was captain of the United States team which won the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. She finished her international playing career with 46 caps and 35 goals. Heinrich coached the USA women’s team from 2000 to 2004, under her tenure team USA finished third in 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, won silver medal at Sydney 2000, and gold medal at Athens 2004 Olympics. In 1998 she became the first female player inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In January 2011, Heinrichs was appointed Technical Director for women’s soccer by United States Soccer Federation.

April had a winning percentage of 70.1%

Pia Sundhage

Pia Sundhage is a Swedish born coach, and ranks as one of the most successful in the game – male or female.

Pia Sundhage was announced as the United States women’s national soccer team head coach on 13 November 2007.  She became the seventh head coach in the U.S. team’s history and the third woman. Lauren Gregg was in charge for 3 games in 2000, April Heinrichs led the squad from 2000–2004 and won the 2004 Summer Olympics, while Sundhage served as a scout for the United States during the 2004 Olympics.United States women’s national team at the 2012 Summer Olympics

While at the helm of the United States, Sundhage won the 2008 Algarve Cup and gold medals at both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was on the verge of winning the 2009 Algarve Cup, but the United States lost out to Sundhage’s native Sweden on penalties. However, she did win the 2010 Algarve Cup a year later, defeating World and European Champions Germany 3–2 in the final.

She coached the women’s team to the final of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the team advanced to the final for the first time since 1999. However, they were upset by Japan, losing 3–1 on penalty kicks. A year later, Sundhage coached the USWNT to another gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, defeating Japan 2–1 in a Women’s World Cup final rematch, with Carli Lloyd scoring both goals.

On 1 September 2012, Sundhage announced she was stepping down as the U.S women’s head coach having expressed a desire to seek opportunities in her native Sweden. Sundhage announced she would coach the U.S. team’s games on 16 and 19 September on the team’s Olympic victory tour before officially resigning. “I have days where I think, ‘What am I doing?’ and there are other days where I’m like, ‘I’m all up for this next challenge'” Sundhage said upon announcing her departing the US women’s national team. She coached her last game against Australia as part the team’s Olympic victory tour on 19 September, defeating them 6–2. With this final win Sundhage was able to leave the team with a 91–6–10 win–loss–tie record that included two Olympic gold medals and a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Pia’s winning record is 85%

Jill Ellis

Ellis was a scout for the U.S. women’s national team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and while coach of the UCLA Bruins Ellis also served as an assistant coach under Pia Sundhage for the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s national team at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Following Sundhage’s departure on 1 September 2012, for Sweden, Ellis (as women’s national team program development director) served as the interim head coach until U.S. Soccer hired Tom Sermanni as the full-time head coach on 1 January 2013.[9][5][16][17]

Ellis’s first appearances as head coach of United States women’s national soccer team was against Germany, on 20 October 2012, at Bridgeview, Illinois, and on 23 October at Hartford, Connecticut. The international friendly matches were part of a series organized to celebrate the winning of the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. The first match finished at 1–1 and the second at 2–2.

With a match against China on 15 December 2012, Ellis completed her first stint as interim head coach of U.S. women’s national team with 5 wins, 2 draws, and no loss.

On 6 April 2014, U.S. Soccer announced the firing of Tom Sermanni and re-appointment of Ellis as interim head coach of the United States women’s national soccer team. As interim head coach in 2014, Ellis had a 3–0 win against China and a 1–1 draw with Canada.

On 16 May 2014, U.S. Soccer announced that Ellis had been appointed as the national team’s head coach on a permanent basis. Ellis’s job as head coach was to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup and win the championship.  On 5 July 2015, she coached the United States to a 5–2 victory over Japan to win the World Cup. Ellis was honored as 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football on 11 January 2016.

In 2016, the U.S. women’s national team recorded five shutout wins to secure the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. However, the team struggled during the 2016 Summer Olympics, drawing against Colombia in the group stage and eliminated to eventual silver medal winners Sweden — a team led by former national team coach Pia Sundhage — 4–3 on penalty kicks after drawing in regulation and extra time. The loss marked the first time that the U.S. women’s national team did not advance to the gold medal game of the Olympics, as well as the first time that the team failed to advance to the semifinal round of a major tournament. The effort was further marred when U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedish team “cowards” for their defensive tactics. Ellis would later cite those comments as part of the reason why U.S. Soccer terminated Solo’s contract and suspended her from the team.

The U.S. women’s national team won four subsequent international friendly matches (9–0 against Thailand, 3–1 against the Netherlands, and 4–0 and 5–1 in two matches against Switzerland). The latter two friendlies featured the largest squad turnover of Ellis’s tenure as she brought in 11 uncapped players, started or played 6 of them, and left several regular players out of camp. Ellis at a friendly against Portugal during the 2019 Victory Tour

Before the friendly against Thailand, Ellis asked U.S. women’s national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe not to kneel during the pre-game performance of the United States national anthem. Rapinoe had done so before matches with her National Women’s Soccer League team, Seattle Reign FC, prior to camp in support of other professional athletes’ similar protests. Despite Ellis’s request, she did not punish Rapinoe after the game.

On 7 July 2019 she led the United States Women’s National Team to win its fourth World Cup and its second consecutive. In the final match against Netherlands in Lyon, France, the team won 2–0. The 2019 World Cup Champion Team beat the world record for most goals in a tournament with 26 goals.  She became not only the first manager to win two Women’s World Cup titles in history, but also the first national team coach, men’s or women’s, to have won two consecutive FIFA World Cup titles since Vittorio Pozzo guided Italy’s men’s national football team to two consecutive titles in both 1934 and 1938.

On 30 July 2019, U.S. Soccer announced that Ellis would be stepping down as coach of the Women’s National Team. She will remain with the team through the World Cup victory tour. Following her departure, she will continue to work with U.S. Soccer in the role of Ambassador.

Jill’s winning record is 80.3%