The U.S. Soccer Federation says it will identify a preliminary list of candidates for the new position of general manager for the women's national team by November.

The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors announced the creation of GM positions for the men's and women's national teams last December. Former U.S. midfielder Earnie Stewart started as GM of the men's side this month.

Because the next 10 months are expected to be busy for the women's team, with World Cup qualifying next month and the tournament set for next summer in France, the women's GM will initially serve in an observation and support role, aiding coach Jill Ellis.

"Obviously, the men's and women's national teams are at different points in their cycles and histories, but our goal is to get a women's GM in place as soon as possible while making sure we take the appropriate amount of time to get the correct person with the proper skill set and personality for the job," Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn said in a statement Wednesday.

U.S. Soccer expects to identify up to 10 candidates over the next two months before conducting interviews through next year. The field will be cut to two or three before a final recommendation is made to the board.

"We want a person who understands the history of our program and what has made the U.S. Women so successful, so we can continue to focus on and maximize those strengths," said Ryan Mooney, chief soccer officer. "But we also need someone who understands the environment that has led to the exponential technical growth worldwide of the women's game over the last 10 years and how we can use the resources and the advantages we have in our country to continue to be the world-wide leader in women's soccer."

The primary focus of the new GM will be the senior national team.