Kate Markgraf Hired as G.M. of U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
- by NewYorkTimes
- Aug. 12, 2019
Kate Markgraf, who as a player helped the United States win two Olympic women’s soccer gold medals and the 1999 Women’s World Cup, was named the first general manager of the United States women’s national team on Monday.
Markgraf’s responsibilities will include overseeing the search for a new coach to replace Jill Ellis, who is leaving the team in October. Ellis announced last month that she was stepping down as coach only weeks after leading the United States to its second straight Women’s World Cup title.
The federation also announced that the general manager for the men’s national team, Earnie Stewart, had been promoted to the new position of sporting director, overseeing U.S. Soccer’s entire sports performance department. The move was designed, U.S. Soccer said, to align the federation’s technical operations across all of its teams.
“One of the priorities when I took over was making sure that our soccer operations were run by soccer experts,” said Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer. “And that is what today is all about.”
Cordeiro described the restructuring of the federation’s technical side, and the elevation of Stewart to sporting director, as a “streamlining” of U.S. Soccer’s operations. The two general managers will report to Stewart, who will report to U.S. Soccer’s chief executive. Dan Flynn is the federation’s longtime chief executive, but he is eager to retire and the organization is actively seeking his replacement, a search that has raised concerns inside U.S. Soccer.
While Markgraf’s main role will be overseeing the women’s national team and its operations, Cordeiro also said she would take a leading role in a potential United States bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup.
Markgraf, 42, appeared in 201 games for the United States during a playing career that spanned 12 years. She was a starter on the 1999 team that won the World Cup at the Rose Bowl, and also was part of the 2003 and 2007 World Cup teams, both of which finished third. She played on three Olympic teams, earning two golds and a silver.
Markgraf also played in two women’s professional leagues in the United States, for the Boston Breakers of the WUSA and the Chicago Red Stars of the W.P.S. Both leagues failed after three seasons.
After retiring, Markgraf, who played college soccer at Notre Dame, earned two master’s degrees, in kinesiology and educational psychology, and worked as a broadcaster, most recently for ESPN.
Among Markgraf’s duties will be hiring coaches, as well as technical and administrative staffs, for the youth and senior women’s teams, and to create and manage the technical plans and performance standards for those teams.
Stewart, 50, who was named the general manager of the men’s team last year, will have responsibility for all men’s, women’s and youth national team programs. The search for his replacement as men’s general manager will begin immediately, U.S. Soccer said.