Molly Downtain Named First General Manager in San Diego
SAN DIEGO (July 12, 2021) – San Diego NWSL President Jill Ellis has appointed former United States Women’s National Team Administrator Molly Downtain as the club’s first General Manager. Downtain was on staff with the U.S. Women’s National Team under Ellis from 2015-2019 and was Team Administrator during the USA’s World Cup victory in 2019.
“Molly is incredibly talented and passionate about women’s soccer with deep roots in the sport and in NWSL,” said San Diego NWSL President Jill Ellis. “She brings an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a team and detailed, first-hand knowledge of some of the most talented players in the world. Her network, keen understanding of NWSL, relationships and skillset are perfectly suited to guide our club forward as we build out our team to compete for championships. I have worked extensively with Molly throughout my time as a head coach and she is an ideal fit for this role with our club.”
As General Manager for San Diego NWSL, Downtain oversees the club’s player acquisitions, scouting and technical staff decisions, including operating the team salary cap and soccer operations budget. She will work closely with President Jill Ellis and the club’s head coach on all aspects of the club’s soccer operations.
“I am extremely eager to work with Jill and build this club’s inaugural roster with top talent from across the world,” said Downtain. “The ambition for San Diego NWSL is to become a global club that features a winning team that is representative of San Diego and our passionate supporters. I am thrilled to serve as Jill’s GM as we build this team moving forward. I feel confident that with the support, resources and talented women working on this project, we can build an exciting team that will represent San Diego on and off the field.”
Downtain joins as San Diego NWSL’s General Manager after working at U.S. Soccer for six years. As Women’s National Team Administrator, she worked closely under then-Head Coach Jill Ellis to oversee all team operations and staff management during the team’s memorable victory in France at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Downtain was also on staff during the team’s World Cup win in 2015 and the 2016 Olympics. She was also part of numerous U.S. youth team’s World Cup and qualifying campaigns and worked with teams and elite players across a variety of age groups, including Women’s Under 23, U-20, U-19, U-18, U-17, U-16, U-15, U-14 and Men’s Under 19, U-16, U-15.
Prior to her time at U.S. Soccer, Downtain served as Director of Soccer Operations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also earned a Masters Degree in Sports Management.
A graduate of Chico State, Downtain featured as a defender collegiately and captained her team en route to a 2011 NCAA Final Four appearance. She was born and grew up in Southern California.
NWSL San Diego is the 12th and newest club in the National Women’s Soccer League and is scheduled to begin play starting in Spring 2022. The club’s name, crest and permanent venue will be announced at a later date.