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Coaching Dec 30, 2019

USWNT goalkeeper coach Graeme Abel hired as University of Oregon head coach

CHICAGO – Graeme Abel, who was the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team for the past five years and helped the USA to two World Cup titles, has taken the head coaching position with the University of Oregon women’s soccer program.

Abel, a native of Liverpool, England, joined the staff of head coach Jill Ellis in March of 2015 and helped the USA to World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019, not only working with goalkeepers, but fulfilling numerous roles and responsibilities as an assistant on the coaching staff.

“Graeme is a fantastic, hard-working coach who has been an important part of our staff over the past five years, not only with the knowledge he’s brought to the team, but also with his personality and ability to add to the team chemistry,” said U.S. Women’s National Team General Manager Kate Markgraf. “We certainly understand and support his desire to become a head coach in one of the top women’s soccer conferences in the nation and we wish him success in his new position.”

Abel was also on the staff for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and also had extensive experience working with the USA’s Youth National Teams.

Prior to joining U.S. Soccer, Abel had served three seasons as a member of the University of Oklahoma Women’s Soccer staff and was promoted to associate head coach during the 2013 offseason.

“I have been fortunate for the past five years to work with the best team in the world and in my opinion the best coaching staff in the world,” said Abel. “My growth in this environment, both as a coach and person, has now prepared me for the next step in my coaching career. I will miss the day-to-day interaction with our players. They pushed the boundaries within the world’s game and have continued to raise the bar for everyone across the world. The memories of Vancouver and Lyon were incredible and will never be forgotten.”

Markgraf and head coach Vlatko Andonovski will immediately begin a search for a replacement.