Skip to content

Sermanni ‘completely blindsided’ by firing from US women’s national team helm

Apr 7, 2014, 2:33 AM EDT

Tom Sermanni talks to Jill Ellis, who will serve as interim USWNT coach. Could she take over permanently? (Getty Images) Getty Images

Tom Sermanni says he was “completely blindsided” by his firing from the head coaching position of the U.S. women’s national team on Sunday, 15 months after getting the job.

Sermanni, who was dismissed Sunday night after the United States’ 2-0 win over China in Commerce City, Colo., told Sports Illustrated that he did not get any sense of the team being uneasy with him as coach. Sermanni was under contract until the end of 2016.

SI’s Grant Wahl reports that Sunday was the first time Sermanni had spoken to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati since the Algarve Cup last month, and the Scotsman now realizes the the U.S. is “a unique team that has certain demands.”

The questions remain, though. Why now? And why at all? Despite struggles at the Algarve Cup, Sermanni has not only won, but done so with a full rotation of young and veteran talent. He amassed an 18-2-4 record as coach, and despite recent Algarve Cup struggles that brought an end to a 43-game unbeaten streak, the direction of the U.S. women has been positive — and youthful.

But it appears that some U.S. players, according to Wahl, expressed concern regarding the direction of the team ahead of World Cup qualifying in October.

“I would assume obviously there has to be some degree of dissatisfaction among the players, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten to this point so quickly now,” Sermanni told SI.

Sermanni said similar things to Fox Sports‘ Leander Schaerlaeckens regarding potential — however unforeseen — player discontent within the team.

“Perhaps because I’ve maybe changed things a little bit or changed some of the concepts around the team, I don’t know if players have been uncomfortable with that,” Sermanni told Fox Sports.

The Washington Post’s Steve Goff reports that an players felt like they weren’t learning and advancing, citing an anonymous source.

“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,” Gulati said in a statement. “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.”

Gulati will address media on Monday at 4:30 p.m. ET, which could provide at least some clarity on why Sermanni was fired and who filled the position.

In the meantime, Jill Ellis will once again serve as interim head coach, as she did in fall 2012 when Pia Sundhage left to take the Sweden job. The U.S. and China play again on Thursday at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online on Live Extra.

Latest Posts
  1. Adnan Januzaj out injured for Manchester United, Ander Herrera to start up top?

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Manchester United v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg Getty Images

    With Adnan Januzaj out injured, Ander Herrera could see himself playing in a more advanced role against Swansea City.

  2. Done Deals: Everton inks South American duo, Sunderland signs Toivonen

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:40 PM EDT

    FBL-ARGENTINA-RIVER-BANFIELD Getty Images

    Find out what moves have been completed as the transfer deadline approaches.

  3. Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton

    Aug 28, 2015, 7:48 PM EDT

    Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    Spurs are still looking for their first win of the season, but face a tough test when Everton travels to White Hart Lane.

  4. Donald Trump denies report linking him with purchase of Argentinian soccer club

    Aug 28, 2015, 6:53 PM EDT

    Donald Trump AP

    I guess the Donald is a bit too busy to be buying a soccer club right now…

  5. Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: West Brom agrees for Evans, De Guzman to Bournemouth

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:57 PM EDT

    Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League Getty Images

    Catch up on all the latest gossip from around the Premier League, right here.

  6. Wolfsburg sporting director: “De Bruyne is off to Manchester City”

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptewzmi3mzvjnwu1odkzodm5nwzlowe4otg1nwe2odyy AP

    The deal is expected to be official within the next 24 hours as Manchester City’s offer was too good to refuse.

  7. Report: Manchester United planning massive $112 million bid for Arjen Robben

    Aug 28, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Arjen Robben AP

    With the close of the transfer window quickly approaching, could Louis van Gaal be on the verge of the summer’s biggest signing?

  8. Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

    Aug 28, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

    Chelsea clinched the title last season with a win against Crystal Palace, and the Blues will be looking for a similar result on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

  9. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Home advantage for heavyweights – Week 4

    Aug 28, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League Getty Images

    PST’s Editor and Lead Writer predicts the scores for every PL game this weekend.

  10. WATCH: NBC Sports’ Premier League TV schedule – Week 4

    Aug 28, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch every single PL game this weekend.

  11. Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. Arsenal

    Aug 28, 2015, 12:40 PM EDT

    Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the Gunners kick-start their season at St James? Watch live, NBCSN, Saturday 7:45 a.m. ET.

  12. MLS preview: Earthquakes vs. Galaxy, Sounders vs. Timbers headline Rivalry Week

    Aug 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy

    Rivalry Week is upon us once again, and if it lives up to the last edition, we’re going to be in for a mighty good time.

  13. VIDEO: LA Galaxy superstar Steven Gerrard is a huge Taylor Swift fan

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT

    New York City FC v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

    Liverpool and England legend seems to be enjoying life in LA. Check out his video of Swifty.

  14. Europa League draw: Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur get tough test in group stage

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Premier League teams will rack up plenty of air miles this season in Europa League action.

  15. Kevin de Bruyne deal moves closer after “astonishing” offer to join Manchester City

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne plays the ball during the Europa League Group H soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Everton FC at the Volkswagen Arena stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) AP

    Wolfsburg admit to talks over KDB, as City’s offer of wages blow Bundesliga side out of the water.

  16. CONCACAF aims for 50-50 crowd split for USA vs. Mexico clash at Rose Bowl

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:04 AM EDT

    Carlos Salcedo, Jordan Morris AP

    Segregation of U.S. and Mexico fans key for CONCACAF for huge showdown in Pasadena.

  17. Help for Harry: Tottenham Hotspur sign $30 million forward Heung-Min Son

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:20 AM EDT

    Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    South Korean international becomes Spurs’ third most-expensive signing in club history.

  18. Arsene Wenger concedes Arsenal “maybe not firing on all cylinders” yet

    Aug 27, 2015, 10:01 PM EDT

    Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC Getty Images

    Why yes, Mr. Wenger, one would have to agree with that assessment. In particular, it’s the finishing that’s killing them, he says.

  19. 2016 Copa America Centenario will be played, but CONCACAF might not be involved

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:13 PM EDT

    Copa America trophy — 2015 Copa America Copa America trophy — 2015 Copa America

    Next summers tournament will go on, but CONCACAF might not participate, which means the Copa needs a new host nation.

  20. Men in Blazers podcast: An afternoon spent inside the mind of Jose Mourinho

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:37 PM EDT

    meninblazers

    Rog talks with Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho about his coaching philosophy, post-match press conferences and football in America.

Featured video

Premier League, Week 3 review