LONDON (AP) — Phil Neville, who led England to the Women’s World Cup semifinals in 2019, left the job earlier than planned on Monday to move back into men’s soccer as coach of Inter Miami.
Neville originally said he would stay until September when Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman would succeed him after the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics to coach England into the home European Championship in 2022.
Now the Football Association, which runs the British Olympic team, is searching for a coach for Tokyo and an interim England coach.
“It has been an honor to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses," Neville said in a statement. “The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared."
He is moving to a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami partly owned by David Beckham that is playing only its second season. The England job was his first in women's football and his first as first-team coach.
“After steadying the ship at a challenging period, he helped us to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, reach the World Cup semi-finals and qualify for the Olympics," said Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women’s football. “Given his status as a former Manchester United and England player, he did much to raise the profile of our team.
"He has used his platform to champion the women’s game, worked tirelessly to support our effort to promote more female coaches and used his expertise to develop many of our younger players.”
Three of the four British national women's teams are now searching for coaches. Jayne Ludlow also announced her departure from the Wales job on Monday to work on FIFA's technical leadership team. Shelley Kerr stepped down from Scotland last month.