April Heinrichs is resigning as coach of the U.S. women's team, less than six months after leading it to an Olympic gold medal. The U.S. Soccer Federation said yesterday...

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CHICAGO — April Heinrichs is resigning as coach of the U.S. women’s team, less than six months after leading it to an Olympic gold medal.


The U.S. Soccer Federation said yesterday that Heinrichs, 40, will remain as a consultant until the end of this year.

No replacement was immediately chosen. Assistant coaches Greg Ryan and Phil Wheddon will direct the team in the interim.


“There were a number of goals when I first stepped into this position five years ago,” Heinrichs said in a statement released by the USSF. “No one is a national team coach forever, and for me personally, this is the right time to step away.”

Heinrichs had a record of 87-17-20, including a 2-1 overtime win over Brazil in the Olympic gold-medal match on Aug. 26 in Athens, Greece. Her 124 games coached is a U.S. women’s team record.


Heinrichs also was the coach for the United States’ third-place finish in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and its second-place effort at the 2000 Olympics.

Heinrichs said the timing for a change was right.


“For the program moving forward, there is enough time for a new coach to prepare for the next Women’s World Cup and Olympics,” she said.

The new coach is expected to build the program with younger players. Many of the standouts of the team that won the Women’s World Cup in 1999, led by Mia Hamm, either have retired from international play or are close to retirement.



Notes


• International stars played for South Asian tsunami relief, with a team of non-Europeans led by Brazil’s Ronaldinho beating Andriy Shevchenko‘s continental club 6-3 before 35,000 in Barcelona, Spain.

In a match dubbed “The Game of Hope,” Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, the African player of the year, scored two goals for the winning team. “It’s the first time in my 30 years with FIFA that there’s been such an assembly of players of this stature,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter.


FIFA intends to gather about $10 million for the tsunami victims, with about 33 percent coming from the match.

• The St. Louis Steamers have signed forward Lindsay Kennedy, 24, to a five-game contract.


Kennedy is expected to become the first woman to play in the Major Indoor Soccer League when the Steamers host the Milwaukee Wave on Saturday.

Franz Beckenbauer wants a German game-fixing scandal settled quickly, insisting it is disrupting the country’s preparations to host next year’s World Cup.


Beckenbauer, the former superstar who is president of the organizing committee, said work remains undone for the World Cup while “we do nothing but put out fire after fire.”

• Macau was suspended from international play because of political interference by authorities in the former Portuguese colony.


Macau is a special administrative region of China.