Apr 7, 2014, 2:33 AM EDT
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.
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Jul 25, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT
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Jul 25, 2014, 7:57 AM EDT
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Jul 25, 2014, 1:21 AM EDT
Olmes Garcia’s second half double lifted RSL.
Jul 24, 2014, 11:25 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT
NBC Sports and Fathom Events are taking Premier League soccer to the big screen.
Jul 24, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT
Balotelli, Honda, Muntari, and more from the Rossoneri’s N.Y. training.
Jul 24, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT
Pinto will depart after failing to come to new terms with the federation.
Jul 24, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
After seeing time with the senior squad, 18-year-old prospect will be sidelined indefinitely.
Jul 24, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
The Colombian striker takes a few hacks before AS Monaco’s friendly in Miami against Atletico National.
Jul 24, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Limited to just 16 matches last year after his big transfer from Liverpool to West Ham, Carroll is battling another ailment this season.
Jul 24, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
The rags-to-riches defender steps away from the pitch, at least as a player, while reflecting on his career journey from North America to Europe and back.
Jul 24, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
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Jul 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Aston Villa, Manchester United and Manchester City all cruised, while Spurs had to find a late winner after coughing up a two-goal lead.
Jul 24, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
What about the Premier League? Bundesliga? Serie A?
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