Who is Anson Dorrance? US coach, 71, who trained Women’s Euro 2022 winners had coached Lucy Bronze
The 2022 Euros team, also known as the Lionesses won the Euros 2022 final against Germany 2-1 on Sunday, July 31 at Wembley Stadium. Anson Dorrance, who is the head coach of women's football at the University of North Carolina, told The Times that three out of four of the sensational goals scored by the Lionesses in their semi-final against Sweden "had Tar Heels written all over them".
Dorrance, who has coached Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo, Lotte Wubben-Moy and manager Sarina Wiegman in the past, described the Lionesses he had previously coached as "wonderful human beings" to the portal. Dorrance coached and trained more players who went on to play at the national level than any other coach during his time at the University of North Carolina. He also led the 'Tar Heels' to the most national championships of any team.
The coach became known for encouraging competitiveness among female players while coaching at the university in the small town of Chapel Hill, arguing that there was no reason why they couldn't be as fiery as the male footballers. "When I started coaching women for the first time, I was really upset with this bizarre dichotomy that when a young boy has competitive fire, he’s put on a pedestal, but when a woman is competitive, all of a sudden she’s excoriated, called the B-word like there’s something wrong with her."
He further added that his approach was to encourage the 'alpha female' side of players. "We tell these kids: if you’re an alpha female, your home is with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill," he said. Dorrance's reputation has seen him as an American football coach who trains an English football team.
Who are the Lionesses?
The 2022 Euros team, also known as the Lionesses won the Euros 2022 final against Germany 2- 1. The team has an average age below 27 since 2013. On Tuesday, July 25, the women's team qualified for the 2022 Women's Euro final for the first time since 2009, with a 4-0 victory over Sweden - the largest recorded Women's Euro semi-final victory.
The Lionesses' standout performances include an 8-0 victory over Norway, a 10-0 win over North Macedonia, and a 20-0 win over Latvia, which set a national record for their largest victory in a senior international football match. Leah Williamson, who plays for Arsenal, was named England captain in April, succeeding Steph Houghton. Williamson, who is only 25 years old, is a defender and midfielder who has played every minute of the Euros campaign so far.
Dorrance's influence on the Lionesses began in 1988, when he recruited Sarina Wiegman to play for the University of North Carolina after seeing her play for a Dutch team in China. Recalling watching a young Wiegman, Dorrance said, "Boy, did she play with some talent". Star defender Lucy Bronze, 30, began training with Dorrance when she was 12 years old at the University of North Carolina's summer camps. She enrolled in college as a full-time student in 2009.
It's not surprising that Dorrance is the man behind so many English players. Dorrance was effusive in his praise for the Lionesses he has personally coached. "These are wonderful human beings, extraordinary examples of the human race... hard-working, humble, sweet, thoughtful kids with deep character and incredible moral fibre," he said.