USWNT stars Morgan & Horan among names on new FIFA technical advisory group led by ex-coach Ellis

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U.S. women's national team stars Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan are part of a star-studded FIFA technical advisory group that will be led by former two-time World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis.

It was announced in September that Ellis, who left her role in charge of the U.S. in 2019, would take up this role with the governing body, looking to address the growth of the women's game.

Morgan and Horan are two of six current players on the list, which was announced on Monday, alongside Atletico Madrid's Deyna Castellanos, Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala, Lyon captain Wendie Renard and New Zealand international Ali Riley.

Who is in the FIFA technical advisory group?

As well as those currently playing stars, there are retired players, coaches, referees, administrators and sports scientists included in the group, from across all six confederations.

Desiree Ellis, Mark Parsons, Jorge Vilda, Pia Sundhage and Ricardo Rambo are the international coaches on the list, in charge of South Africa, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and Hong Kong respectively. Chelsea's Emma Hayes is the lone club coach on the list, though Parsons is still in club football with the Portland Thorns until the end of the current NWSL season too.

Arsenal legend Kelly Smith, widely regarded as England's greatest ever female footballer, is then one of six former players in the group. France's Laura Georges, Kenya's Doreen Nabwire and China's Sun Wen are also involved, all former internationals who now work with their respective federations.

Ex-USWNT star Kristine Lilly, the most-capped footballer of all time; former Canada goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, an Olympic bronze medallist in 2012; and Lotta Schelin, the iconic Swedish striker who won three Women's Champions League titles with Lyon, are the other ex-pros involved.

Dawn Scott, the renowned sports scientist who helped the USWNT become world champions, and Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb, en elite former referee, round off the list.

What will the group do?

The technical advisory group, which met for the second time on Friday, October 15, will be used to hold a number of discussions regarding the growth of the women's game, with Ellis stressing in a press conference last month that she wanted to get 'every viewpoint' in these.

The discussions will include topics around competitive balance, increased opportunities for underserved nations, a FIFA Women's Club World Cup - which the European Club Association has included in its own plans for growth - prize money, the FIFA international windows and the possibility of a biennial FIFA Women's World Cup, which has been a particularly hot topic recently.

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“The growth of women’s football is a key objective for FIFA," Ellis said. "Like any initiative, the first step is to gather all of the information and start to make next steps for how this advisory group can be impactful for tangible change for the growth and advancement of the women’s game.

"It’s time for women’s football to definitively assume the importance it has at all levels and create its own path of growth and advancement, notwithstanding the obviously necessary coordination with the men’s game, namely to avoid calendar overlaps. We will take the information gathered from the Technical Advisory Group and a wider consultation group to take informed ideas to a broader audience."

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