After five seasons as the women’s team assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, the California native, Melissa Phillips joined the Lionesses’ coaching staff in the spring of 2020.
Before long, Phillips was elevated into the managerial role just five games into the 2020/21 season with former London City head coach, Lisa Fallon stepping down.
Today’s Conti Cup matchup against West Ham United marks Phillips’ 50th appearance as the Lionesses' boss.
Before coming to London City she was regarded as one of the United States’ most highly regarded young coaches. In 2018, Phillips helped lead the Quakers to the 2018 Ivy League Championship, netting an average of over 1.8 goals per game on top of allowing just 5 goals in 16 games.
Since Phillips was selected as the manager, London City has taken the proper steps in an attempt to reach the Women’s Super League for the first time in club history.
With Phillips at the helm, the Lionesses claimed their first win against a WSL opponent against Brighton in November of 2021 and took four points against the eventual champions, Liverpool, snatching the only win at Preston Park with a 1-0 victory in late August.
From a contract extension in March of 2021 to guiding the Lionesses to a second-place finish in the league in the previous campaign, Phillips celebrates a milestone with the hope of many more in the foreseeable future.
In the wake of London City’s duel with the Irons, Phillips talked about the meaning of this match, and what her ambitions are going forward, stating:
“My role since joining London City has been to help drive the vision, values, and ambitions of the club forward.
"My hope is that I can always provide stability and consistency in our direction and I am humbled to reach 50 matches leading this team.
"We are on a journey together and I am incredibly grateful to our board for their belief and our staff and players for their continued commitment to that.”
London City has gone three games unbeaten, not conceding a goal in the last two matches with the hope of making Phillips’ historic day a continuation of the club’s success early in the campaign.
In a historic 2021/22 campaign, Phillips’ Lionesses allowed just 22 goals which was good for third-best in the league.
It has been almost a month since goalkeeper Shae Yanez reached her historic 50th showing for the club. London City hopes to end Phillips’ momentous night the same way that it did for Yanez’s 50th match between the sticks, with an exhilarating triumph.