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US Soccer fires USWNT coach Tom Sermanni after win over China

Apr 6, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT

Tom Sermanni AP

Tom Sermanni was fired by US Soccer after just over a year on the job in a surprising move announced Sunday night.

Sermanni’s 15 months as head coach of the United States women’s national team will be remembered as a tumultuous time. Sure, there were plenty of whispers of discord, but there had to be an adjustment period. The connected folks I’ve reached out to were surprised by the news, if not “shocked.”

The firing comes mere hours after Sermanni’s women beat China 2-0 in the first of two international friendlies against the Asian side, completing his tenure with a record of 18W-4D-2L.

The statements from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati and Sermanni:

“We want to thank Tom for his service over the past year and half, but we felt that we needed to go in a different direction at this time. We will begin looking for a new coach immediately to guide our Women’s National Team toward qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.” — Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president

“I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out, but I’d like to thank U.S. Soccer for the opportunity to have coached this team and also the staff and players for all their hard work.” — Sermanni

Bears a scent of the players running the ship, that’s for sure.

The Washington Post’s Steve Goff says the US has named Jill Ellis the interim coach for Thursday’s match in San Diego. Ellis was the interim boss when Pia Sundhage stepped down, and boasts a 5W-2D-0L record that includes three wins over China.

Under Sermanni, the States saw its 43-match unbeaten run end en route to a very disappointing seventh-place finish at the Algarve Cup. They lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2001 before saving a little face with a win over North Korea.

How changed is the list of potential candidates discussed the last time the job was open? Paul Riley, Randy Waldrum and Tony DiCicco will see their names in the news along Aaran Lines and Cindy Parlow Cone.

And how about Ellis? She’s been the USSF Development Director since 2010 and boasts a college head coaching record of 248W-14D-63L at UCLA and Illinois before coaching the US U-20 and U-21.

Regardless, surprise is reverberating around US Soccer:

  1. godsholytrousers - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Yikes, who would want this job now?

    Inmates running the asylum.

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    I’m sure the dismal Algarve sank his stock. We need someone both strong and wise at the helm, and very soon.

  3. Matthew - Apr 7, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    Whoa…talk about shock & surprise. 3 questions come to mind reading the news hear: (1)What happened to warrant Sermanni’s dismissal? (2)Who will U.S. Soccer tap to replace Sermanni as USWNT coach? and (3)What effect will this have on the team going into World Cup qualifying for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup?

  4. seanb20124 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Bring back Anson.

  5. boscoesworld - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Who needs a coach? The players did what they wanted under Pia. Let them run the show if that’s what they want. It’s rather pathetic actually.

  6. lewpuls - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Amazing. If it’s a case of player-power, something like the NBA, that usually goes badly in the long run. But not always. I hope it isn’t a case of the senior players not liking the introduction of young players, that could end very badly.

    I’m not sure how much “vision” a coach needs to bring when you’re #1, won the Olympics, lost the WC on penalties. The vision is to win everything.

  7. lyleoross - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    This strikes me as a bit amazing. I’ve never heard a rumor, or comment in the past that the players run or ran the show. I’ve never heard of huge dissent except about the Hope Solo incidents from some years past. I’ve never heard of infighting (something that always happens when the players run the show) and yet here we have it. I have to question the veracity of some of the points in this article.

    On the other hand, if you step into the leadership of the top club in the world, and you woof it in an easy tournament, and you have the players that the U.S. squad has, you might wanna be lookin’ over your shoulder.

    Now, I’m not saying the players didn’t complain, but given that we know nada about that, we might want to wait. And frankly, in a situation where the players have said nothing publicly, I’d say they are being the mature party here.

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