April 6, 2014
THE FIRING LINE
Sermanni bounced as U.S. women's coach
Tom Sermanni was fired as coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.
|Tom Sermanni was fired as coach of the U.S. Women's National Team
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
U.S. Soccer made the announcement late Sunday night, after the Americans defeated China in an international friendly, 2-0, earlier in the day.
No reason was given for Sermanni's dismissal.
U.S. Soccer director of development Jill Ellis will serve as interim head coach, starting with the team's next match against China PR on Thursday in San Diego, the federation said.
"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," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statment. "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."
Sermanni, who coached the Australian women's team, was hired as U.S. coach in October 2012.
"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 said in a statement.
During his time in charge of Australia, Sermanni helped bring the team into the top 10 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings. Named the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year,
Sermanni led Australia to a runner-up finish at the 2006 AFC Women's Cup, where the team fell to China in penalty kicks, and to the championship in 2010, when the youthful Matildas downed Korea DPR in penalties.
He also coached all three seasons of the Women's United Soccer Association, serving as an assistant for the San Jose CyberRays during the inaugural season, in which he helped the club to the league championship. He was also an assistant for the CyberRays in 2002 before taking the head coaching job of the New York Power in 2003.
Sermanni, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, had a long playing career as a midfielder from 1971 through 1989, playing more than 300 professional matches and scoring more than 50 goals. He quickly transitioned into coaching both men's and women's professional soccer all over the world, including stints in Japan, the USA and Malaysia.
Sermanni was the seventh USA women's coach, following Mike Ryan (1985), Anson Dorrance (1986-1994), Tony DiCicco (1994-1999), April Heinrichs (2000-2004), Greg Ryan (2005-2007) and Pia Sundhage (2008-2011) as official coaches of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Ellis had served as interim head coach for seven matches at the end of 2012, going 5-0-2.