England manager Sarina Wiegman has extended her contract with the team through 2027, the English Football Association announced on Tuesday.

Originally, Wiegman was signed through the 2025 Euros tournament. But this extension keeps her with the team through the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

It comes one day after she was named FIFA’s women’s coach of the year for the fourth time.

Also signing a new contract is assistant coach Arjan Veurink.

“I am so happy to have the chance to lead England through to 2027 after an incredible two and a half years,” Wiegman said. “Looking forward, we have unfinished business and I know we are capable of even more, although nothing will come easy. Our game is becoming so competitive at the top level. I relish that opportunity and can’t wait to start the Euro qualifiers, followed by the World Cup.”

Under Wiegman, the Lionesses reached last year’s World Cup final, where they lost to Spain. Recent struggles have led to the team failing to qualify for the Olympics.

Even still, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said that they were “thrilled” that Wiegman had opted to extend her contract.

“She has achieved so much through her outstanding work as a coach and leader, and there is more to come. The aim with our England teams is to be a consistent competitive force in major tournaments, and Sarina has helped us achieve that – building on what had been several years of positive progress,” Bullingham said.

Wiegman has been with England since September 2021, helping the Lionesses to a historic Euro 2022 win.

England handily beat its Great British rival Scotland on Tuesday night, 6-0. But the comfortable victory was not enough for the Lionesses to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

England was unable to unseat The Netherlands from the top seat in its Nations League group. The two squads entered their Tuesday matches with the same number of points, but The Netherlands had a superior goal differential. 

The nail in England’s coffin was a late goal scored by Damaris Egurrola in the 91st minute of the Oranje’s match with Belgium on Dec. 5 — the single goal that the Netherlands needed to remove England from contention. 

Belgium didn’t register a single goal on the Oranje, but England’s six goals over Scotland weren’t enough to make up the difference to qualify for the Paris games. 

“I’m very disappointed,” England manager Sarina Wiegman said to ESPN. “I felt we delivered tonight.”

Despite the impressive performance, the Lionesses couldn’t make up for their previous losses to Belgium and Spain. That, combined with an inferior goal differential, will keep this summer’s World Cup runner ups out of next summer’s Olympics. 

“If you don’t get through on goal difference, it’s not enough,” Wiegman said. “I still think what we’ve done, the Euros, getting to the final in the World Cup, having hardly [any] rest, going into the first Nations League campaign and, yes, we had moments we struggled but we had moments where we did really well, but that’s football.”

Kristie Mewis is excited to see what Emma Hayes will bring to the U.S. women’s national team.

While Hayes has yet to be announced as the team’s next coach, her impending departure from Chelsea has been confirmed. U.S. Soccer’s board of directors also has reportedly approved the hire.

In her 12 seasons with Chelsea, Hayes has led the club to six Women’s Super League titles and five FA Cup titles — including the last four WSL titles and the last three FA Cup titles. Mewis’ fiancée Sam Kerr has played under Hayes at Chelsea since 2020.

“She’s an outstanding coach and she has led Chelsea to so many championships and so many wins, and she’s a world respected coach,” Mewis said. “I’m super excited to see what she can bring to the team. She’s exactly what we need and I really just think that she’s going to take the team to the next level.”

USWNT forward Tobin Heath agreed, calling the hiring of Hayes a “no-brainer.”

“When I saw this announcement I thought to myself: ‘Great choice. No-brainer,’” she said. “Did I think she was available? No. So then I instantly kind of became a little confused as to the timing of when she would come. But when I think about Emma Hayes and the impact she’s had on the women’s game, and the success that she’s had at Chelsea, she’s a winner.”

England boss Sarina Wiegman, meanwhile, called the move “good for the women’s game.”

“For the bigger picture of the women’s game, I think it’s good,” she said. “What you hope is that with her visibility and with more coaches that are visible, that you get more female coaches that can do a great job. And whatever level you coach, we need more women in football. It’s a little bit sad for England and Chelsea, but it’s also good for the women’s game in general.”

And as far as who will lead Chelsea next, Hayes has said she’ll have a hand in picking the team’s next coach. It’s important to her that there is a succession plan in place to ensure that the team continues to dominate after her departure in May 2024.

“The time is right,” she said. “I will work with the club in the succession plan and do everything I can to make sure there is as good of a transition as possible so my successor can have the same level of success as I can.

“I think it will be so Chelsea of us to succession-plan my exit, so of course I will be involved in those conversations. It’s important that we really take the time to evaluate what the best fit will be.”

England women’s national team head coach Sarina Wiegman believes that Emma Hayes’ hiring as the USWNT head coach is “good for the women’s game.”

Women’s Super League club Chelsea announced Saturday that Hayes would depart at the end of the 2023-24 season. Reports of Hayes filling the USWNT opening soon followed, with U.S. Soccer’s board of directors reportedly approving the hire over the weekend, though no official announcement has been made.

Hayes is a huge get for the USWNT, as she has built Chelsea into one of the top clubs in the world. She has led the team to six WSL titles and has been named Best FIFA Football Coach in 2021. Under Hayes, Chelsea also have won the FA Cup five times.

“It’s really incredible what she has achieved and what she has changed and the visibility she has, and that helps the women’s game,” Wiegman told BBC Radio. “So that’s Chelsea, but it goes so much further than Chelsea. It’s just really changed the women’s football world. And we need more coaches like Emma.”

Wiegman’s hope is that the visibility of a coach as accomplished as Hayes will help to grow not only the women’s game but also the number of women coaches who are involved in it.

“For the bigger picture of the women’s game, I think it’s good,” she said. “What you hope is that with her visibility and with more coaches that are visible, that you get more female coaches that can do a great job. And whatever level you coach, we need more women in football. It’s a little bit sad for England and Chelsea, but it’s also good for the women’s game in general.”

And as for the possibility of Hayes receiving equal pay to U.S. men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter — which at least has been on the table for U.S. Soccer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer — Wiegman said that she can only “talk about my situation.”

“Since I’ve come in and worked for the FA, I felt treated so equal. And it’s not only about money,” she said. “It’s about the facilities, it’s about the full-time staff with the best staff members with quality. It’s about all the facilities, all the opportunities we get to perform at our highest level. And I feel equally treated and that feels really good.”

England’s Olympic qualification has been put in jeopardy following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Belgium.

The defeat puts the Lionesses third in their Women’s Nations League table with two matches remaining. They sit one point back of Belgium, with Belgium holding the advantage on goal differential. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that it was England’s third loss in five games.

“First of all we have to beat the Netherlands by more than one goal at Wembley [in December] so we know we have work to do,” Sarina Wiegman told ITV. “We have put ourselves in a hard position.”

The 2023 World Cup runners-up face the Netherlands at 2:45 p.m. ET on Dec. 1. The Lionessess lost to the Oranje in their most recent match, a 2-1 defeat in September. And while injuries to key players like Leah Williamson and Beth Mead have plagued the team, there have been other worrying signs.

The Lionesses have allowed six goals in four Women’s Nations League matches. In just seven games, they have just one clean sheet. They’re also not converting their chances. They held possession 73% of the match and had 18 shots – but just five were on target. Belgium, meanwhile scored from three of five total attempts.

“This was a game [where] I think we should have been tighter on the ball,” Wiegman said. “The tempo wasn’t great but we did create lots of chances and we dominated the game totally. We lost the ball and we knew they were dangerous on the counter-attack. It was us that made it hard for ourselves. It’s something we have to get out of our game. We have to do better in the final third.

“We were sloppy on the ball and they were ready for that. They play their long ball and they are gone [on the counter-attack].”

Even still, England players are confident that they can keep their Olympic hopes alive.

“We’ve still got a good chance, we play our next game against the Netherlands at Wembley – a stadium where we like to step up and against a team that we played quite recently,” Lucy Bronze said. “We’ll put this game to bed and look forward to playing the Netherlands and Scotland. They are two really tough games. We’ve left ourselves with a little bit more to do – but it’s not impossible.”

Sarina Wiegman won the 2022-23 UEFA Coach of the Year award Thursday. In her acceptance speech, the England head coach threw her support behind the Spanish women’s national team.

Spain defeated England, 1-0, to win the 2023 World Cup title. But controversy has overshadowed the victory, as Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales has come under fire for his nonconsensual kiss of star midfielder Jenni Hermoso during the championship celebration.

Wiegman called it “really special” to be voted UEFA Coach of the Year, particularly by her colleagues. She also won the award last year after leading England to its first-ever Euros title. In her speech, she thanked her team and everyone from the English Football Association that supported the Lionesses as they made their World Cup run.

“But it also feels a little different,” she said. “We all know the issues around the Spanish team.”

Since the World Cup, Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA, and regional leaders from the Spanish federation (RFEF) have called for his resignation. Spain’s World Cup players have refused to return to the national team without a change in leadership.

With Rubiales’ refusal to resign, the conflict has dragged on, pulling attention from the players’ accomplishments and highlighting the ways in which society – and women’s sports – still must improve.

“It really hurts me, as a coach, as a mother of two daughters, as a wife and as a human being,” Wiegman said. “It shows the game has grown so much, but there’s also still a long way to go in women’s football and in society. And I would like to dedicate this award to the Spanish team. The team that played in the World Cup such great football that everyone enjoys.

“This team deserves to be celebrated and deserves to be listened to. And I’m going to give them, again, a big applause.”

Spain’s Aitana Bonmatí, who won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup, took home the award as the 2022-23 UEFA Player of the Year. She won the World Cup with Spain and the Champions League title with FC Barcelona.

Sarina Wiegman is just fine where she is.

The U.S. women’s national team is on the hunt for its next head coach after the resignation of Vlatko Andonovski, and Wiegman has been floated as a top contender. As the manager of England, she has led the Lionesses to their first World Cup final, one year after leading them to their first Euros title.

Wiegman, though, is committed to seeing out her contract with England, she said Friday. That contract runs through 2025.

The 53-year-old Netherlands native is set to feature in her second-straight World Cup final Sunday. She led her home country to the championship match in 2019.

“I have a contract until 2025,” Wiegman told reporters. “I’m really enjoying my job, and I have the impression that people still like me doing that job. I have no plans to leave.”

When asked about the reports of the USWNT’s interest in her, Wiegman said she’s “staying out of that.”

“I’ve heard it,” she said. “I’m with England, I’m really happy with England, and I have a contract until 2025.”

The English Football Association also has said it would “100%” reject any requests by opposing countries to approach Wiegman.

“We’ve seen lots of rumors, and look, she is a special talent,” FA CEO Mark Bullingham said. “We know that. From our side, she’s obviously contracted through until 2025. We think she’s doing a great job.

“We’re obviously huge supporters of her, and I think hopefully she feels the same way. So from our side, she’s someone we’d like to have with us for a very long time. It is not about money. We are very, very happy with her, and we feel she is happy.”

The England women’s national team is not about to let Sarina Wiegman slip through its fingers.

The English Football Association will reject any approach from rival countries interested in the manager, CEO Mark Bullingham said Thursday on the heels of reported interest from the United States. The USWNT is in search of a new head coach after Vlatko Andonovski’s resignation.

Wiegman has guided England to its first Women’s World Cup final, four years after she led the Netherlands to the 2019 final against the USWNT. While she fell short of the title in 2019, she could win it all with the Lionesses, who will face Spain at 6 a.m. ET Sunday in the championship match.

For Wiegman, the World Cup final marks her fourth consecutive trip to a major tournament final. She won the 2017 Euros with the Netherlands, then guided the team to the 2019 World Cup final before joining England, with whom she won last summer’s Euros.

Wiegman’s contract with England runs through 2025. But the FA has interest in extending that deal.

“We’ve seen lots of rumors, and look, she is a special talent,” Bullingham said. “We know that. From our side, she’s obviously contracted through until 2025. We think she’s doing a great job.

“We’re obviously huge supporters of her and I think hopefully she feels the same way. So from our side, she’s someone we’d like to have with us for a very long time.”

And Bullingham said the FA would “100%” reject any approach from competing teams for Wiegman, noting that it’s “not about money.”

“We are very, very happy with her and we feel she is happy,” he said.

In fact, the FA is so happy with Wiegman that they would consider the Dutch coach as a candidate to take over their men’s side if the opportunity arose – and if she would be interested.

“People always say it is the best man for the job or the best Englishman,” Bullingham said Thursday. “Why does it have to be a man? I think our answer is always: ‘It’s the best person for the job.’ We think Sarina is doing a great job and hope she continues doing it for a long time. I think Sarina could do anything she wants in football.

“If at some point in the future she decides she wants to move into the men’s game, that would be a really interesting discussion, but that’s for her, right? I don’t think we should view it as a step up. If she decides at some point in the future to go in a different direction, I think she’s perfectly capable of that.”

If England win their first Women’s World Cup this weekend, it might be easy to look back on their road to the trophy lift as something of an inevitability. They’re the reigning European champions who came into the tournament with one of the deepest squads in the world and a sharp mentality that has seen them through low moments in the knockout stages.

But in 2023, the Lionesses needed a certain amount of tactical dexterity to weather adversity. Head coach Sarina Wiegman, who has reached a second straight World Cup final with a new team after England’s 3-1 win over Australia on Wednesday, has shown a willingness to adjust rather than overly commit to her starting XI, and it could make all the difference.

The England team competing for the World Cup trophy is building off their Euros performance, but rather than steamrolling teams with their clear starting talent, they’ve rolled with the punches to become a team very difficult to beat even when they are not at their best.

Forced absences

As many know, England’s squad going into the World Cup was hit with a wave of injuries, most notably to forward Beth Mead (ACL), defender Leah Williamson (ACL) and forward Fran Kirby (knee). The loss of Mead, Williamson and Kirby not only introduced an experience gap into multiple key positions, it also briefly threw off the balance of the squad’s attack.

England struggled to score at times in the lead-up to the World Cup and gave up soft results on the other end, going into the tournament having scored just one goal in their three friendly matches. They lost to Australia 2-0 and tied Portugal 0-0 in their tune-up matches, raising the question of whether the team had run out of gas after a taxing year of international play.

The Lionesses faced even more absences at the World Cup. Defensive midfielder Keira Walsh injured her knee in the team’s second group stage match against Denmark, though she was able to return to anchor the midfield for the knockout rounds. England also lost the services of playmaker Lauren James, who served a two-game red-card suspension after she appeared to intentionally step on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie in the final ten minutes of their Round of 16 game.

Depth and experience

Many other teams would have been sunk by the unexpected loss of that much firepower, but England found their way through those hurdles with a mixture of depth and experience. Their cool-headed penalty shootout in the Round of 16 is perhaps the best example of their quiet belief in themselves, even when they had been outplayed in between the whistles.

The return of center-back Millie Bright from injury this spring had a huge effect on the defense’s confidence after the loss of Williamson. And the team’s extensive attacking depth allowed players like Ella Toone and Alessia Russo, who featured more off the bench in the Euros, to step confidently into starting roles. James also provided England with a boost in the group stage until her suspension, and she will likely return for the World Cup final.

The Lionesses have at times looked vulnerable on the wings, but Lucy Bronze and Rachel Daly have done just enough to keep their opponents at bay. Reinserting Walsh into the midfield (after the capable work of Georgia Stanway in her absence) has also helped England hold the ball better than their opponents.

Deft coaching flexibility

Individual excellence and focused mentality, however, can’t overcome coaching deficits, and Wiegman recognized early in the World Cup that England needed a change to fit their available personnel.

After a tepid performance in the tournament opener against Haiti, England switched to a three-back defensive formation, giving Bronze and Daly more freedom to engage in the attack. This approach has also suited the team’s center-backs, with Bright, Alex Greenwood and Jess Carter carrying the team through periods when the attack wasn’t quite clicking.

England’s new 3-4-3 formation allows the Lionesses to control the midfield with advantages in personnel numbers, but also to commit those numbers forward quickly in transition to punish teams who push against them. They don’t always find the breakthrough in a cagey chess match, like in the Round of 16 against Nigeria, but the approach was on full display against Australia in Wednesday’s semifinal.

Australia’s superpower seemed to be in pushing tempo and trying to create overloads against the three-back with their own attackers to generate quality chances. The England defense held fast for the first half, allowing Toone to grab the opening goal by holding the ball and firing off a quality strike.

But after Sam Kerr’s equalizer in the 63rd minute, England’s ability to improvise shone through the cracks. Seeing an opportunity while holding the ball, Bright sent a long pass forward to Lauren Hemp. Hemp forced an error by Australian defender Ellie Carpenter in isolation, and suddenly England was back in control of the match. Russo then put the game away on the counter-attack, punishing Australia for their attempts to get back in it.

Ultimately, the Lionesses provide an example of how years of development can build depth and individual quality, and the right tweaks in the moment empower that talent to make their own decisions. England has a lot of different ways to beat their opponents, even when the shots aren’t falling. They’ve proven in multiple knockout matches that, even when they concede, they have the fortitude to continue to problem-solve.

Against a Spain squad in the final that can also hold the ball and use their wingers when games open up, England will need every tool in their arsenal.

Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @ScoutRipley.

Sarina Wiegman continues to build her case as one of the best coaches in the history of women’s soccer.

On Wednesday, the 53-year-old Dutch native guided England to its first-ever World Cup final. It’s the second trip to the championship match for Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to the same spot in 2019, though the United States took home the title. Still, Wiegman’s second consecutive World Cup final appearance cements her place among some of the sport’s greatest coaches.

“Am I in a fairy tale?” Wiegman asked Wednesday.

She’s the first coach to take two separate nations to a Women’s World Cup final. This comes after she accomplished a similar feat in the Women’s Euros, guiding the Netherlands to the 2017 title and England to the 2022 title.

“I don’t know,” Wiegman said when asked how she keeps taking teams to new levels. “The chance as a coach or as a player that you make it to finals is really, really special. And we’ve made it to four already. I’d never take anything for granted but am I here in the middle of a fairy tale or something?”

Wiegman has led the Lionesses on an unprecedented run, and they took down the host team to do it, besting Australia 3-1 in Wednesday’s semifinal.

“It’s unbelievable,” Wiegman said. “It feels like we won it, but we didn’t win it, but we won this game. It’s an incredible stadium, an away game, the way we played of course it was a hard game but we found a way to win.

“You’ve been talking about ruthlessness all the time. I think in this team there’s ruthlessness, whether that’s up front or defense. We really want to keep the ball out of the net, we really want to win. We stick together and we stick to the plan and it worked again.”

And if you ask the her players, what Wiegman has instilled in them might just be enough to win it all.

“I’ve said it a million times and I’ll continue saying it, the mentality of this team is something I’ve never seen before,” Millie Bright told BBC Sport. “I think that comes from Sarina as well the belief she gives us. We can play many different ways, I think that’s the beauty of this squad. Whatever an opponent throws at us we adapt, we find a way to win and I’m just really proud of the girls.”