PORTSMOUTH-BORN Jill Ellis is out to inspire a winning tweet from President Obama at the Women’s World Cup.
And the voice of football in the USA, Ian Darke, believes she is facing her ‘ultimate test’ in her quest to deliver glory in the competition.
‘Hopefully Jill can be responsible for inspiring a winning tweet from Obama this time round!Ian Darke
Ellis is the head coach of the US women’s side who progressed to the last 16 of the competition in Canada on Tuesday.
Nigeria, who had Pompey Ladies striker Ini Umotong on the bench, were defeated 1-0 as they were knocked out.
Now Ellis’ side will bid for a quarter-final spot next Monday.
Darke, also from Portsmouth and a Blues fan, told of how he commentated on the last World Cup, where USA reached the final – and the interest registered at the White House.
He said: ‘Last time out, USA got to the final four years ago and I was covering the game.
‘I got a message from the producer saying the White House had tweeted a picture of president Obama and his family watching the game and could I mention this.
‘So I was able to say on air “I hope you are enjoying the match Mr President”.
‘USA lost that game in a penalty shootout to Japan, but the fact that the White House tweeted out that picture of the President watching the game kind of sums it up really.
‘Hopefully, Jill can be responsible for inspiring a winning tweet from Obama this time round!
‘For her it’s the ultimate test – she is having to pit her wits on the big stage.
‘I don’t think I am being unkind to her to say that so far she has been a very valuable support act. But now she is very much out there in the hot seat.’
Darke explained the interest of the Women’s World Cup in the US is comparable to that of the men’s event.
He added: They treat the women’s World Cup as almost as big of a deal as they treat the men’s World Cup.
‘That probably wouldn’t be true anywhere else on the planet.’