Phallon Tullis-Joyce has been hard at work with Manchester United after making the move to the English club earlier this year.
Tullis-Joyce started 2023 as the starting goalkeeper for OL Reign before making the move to the Women’s Super League. Now she’s the backup for England starter Mary Earps, who was named the best goalkeeper at the 2023 World Cup in August. Earps, though, could be on the move at conclusion of the 2023-24 WSL season, which would put Tullis-Joyce in line for the starting spot.
As Manchester United head coach Marc Skinner told Chris Brookes, he’s been happy with how the 27-year-old American (and U.S. women’s national team prospect) has adapted since her move from the NWSL.
“She’s having to adapt to shorter passes, medium, and obviously some longer-range to make sure we mix up the opponent – but I think it’s about the speed in which she does that,” Skinner said, noting the increased ball possession in the English compared to the U.S. league.
Skinner is no stranger to the NWSL, having coached the Orlando Pride from 2019 to 2021.
“I’ve been to the NWSL and there’s a lot of quality there, a lot of individual dribbling quality, a lot of high-speed energy,” he continued, noting that the WSL is “a little bit more tactically designed,” which Tullis-Joyce is learning.
Even still, it isn’t taking much for her to adjust. Skinner likened the process to “sharpening her tools.”
“I’ll be very clear: she has all of the foundations,” Skinner said. “I’ve never seen a goalkeeper make the saves that she makes, honestly. … She’s so athletic. I think it’s just making sure she can make those in big moments.
“She’s such an astute learner, she literally takes a notepad into everywhere she goes. So, you’re going to see a real character that, I think after this season once she’s had these kind of games, I think you’re going to see a world-class goalkeeper. I really do. She’s got all of the qualities she needs.”