April 20, 2014
By Michael Lewis
ON SERMANNI'S DISMISSAL
Rampone: 'His philosophy was very different'
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Needless to say, the sooner U.S. Soccer names a successor to the fired Tom Sermanni as U.S. national women's coach, the better it will be for the players, says international defender and team captain Christie Rampone.
|Christie Rampone: "It's unfortunate. It's the game of soccer and the philosophy obviously wasn't what U.S. Soccer wanted, heading in a different direction."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
In her first interview about Sermanni's surprising dismissal two weeks ago Sunday, Rampone talked about how much she likes Sermanni, but also understands why he was shown the door with qualifying for the 2015 Women's World Cup set for October.
"It's unfortunate," Rampone said after Sky Blue FC played to a 1-1 draw with the Portland Thorns FC Saturday night. "It's the game of soccer and the philosophy obviously wasn't what U.S. Soccer wanted, heading in a different direction."
Rampone later added: "His philosophy was very different. However, it's going to take time and I don't know if we have that much time."
During a halftime interview of the New England Revolution-Chicago Fire telecast on NBCSN Saturday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the federation has plans to have a new coach by mid-May.
"We're anxiously awaiting to see who that next coach is," Rampone said. "I'm 38 and I'm hoping the coach will call me in and want to give me that shot, that chance and I think everybody is feeling the same. i think it's making the level a little bit better in the league because we don't know who the next person will be."
Rampone played for Sermanni, the former Australian women's national coach, with the New York Power in the defunct Women's United Soccer Association in 2003.
"I loved Tom as a coach," she said. "I played for him. I had a very good relationship with him for the last 10 years. My heart definitely hurts seeing him leave. But you now, it's the World Cup. We need to be heading in the right direction and playing the best soccer we can. Hopefully, the next coach who comes in will get us right on target and ready."
Rampone, who has made 290 international appearances, was unable to be with the team after Sermanni's dismissal. She returned home to New Jersey to get a second opinion on her foot injury, a day after the win over China while the rest of the team traveled to San Diego for the second match of its series.
"I was there that night and heading home the next morning," she said of the day of the firing. "It was unfortunate heading into San Diego and not being there for support. Obviously, all the media and everything. But the girls handled themselves well, played a good game and came out to the league."
Rampone missed Sky Blue's season-opener -- a 1-1 tie at FC Kansas City last week -- but returned to play Saturday night.
"It's all right," she said. "Still a little pain, but it's mentally getting through it. I'll be in pain. I've just got to get ... used to that feeling. I'll continue to play. It's a management thing. It's taking a few days off during the week and playing on the weekends."