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Why Philip Poole sees a big opportunity as first head coach of USL Super League Carolina

An international calendar and an underserved US player pool has the Charlotte-based head coach excited to make the move after four years on the USWNT coaching staff

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Philip Poole has seen “the top of the mountain,” as he calls it. Poole has served in various roles on the United States women’s national team coaching staff for the past four years. He witnessed how some of the best players in the world operate — and how even they crave feedback for how they can improve.

“You get a snapshot of saying, ‘This is the upper echelon, this is the top level of the game,’” Poole told The Equalizer. “And it creates that picture for you in terms of saying, ‘Okay, here, here is that piece that so few people are fortunate enough to get to see and get to experience.”

Now, Poole will apply his knowledge from the U.S. national team and two decades of coaching experience as the first head coach of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based team in the new USL Super League that will launch in August.

He is the second head coach to be appointed by a team in the league, which plans to operate as a first-division circuit competing with the National Women’s Soccer League. The Tampa Bay Sun were the first to announce their coach Denise Schilte-Brown. Nine teams have been announced thus far for the inaugural season.

Poole’s quest for a larger coaching role saw the Newcastle, England, native expand his duties from goalkeeper coach to assistant coach for the U.S. national team. He obtained his U.S. Soccer Pro License, which is still a rare distinction among coaches in the women’s game. Poole said he looked at head-coaching opportunities in the NWSL, and that he could have continued on longer as a U.S. assistant coach, but this opportunity was a perfect fit for him.

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