December 15, 2008
FOUR MORE YEARS
Sundhage contract extended through 2012
CHICAGO---In what should not come as a surprise, U.S. Soccer has re-signed Pia Sundhage as coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team for four more years. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced the extension Monday.
|Pia Sundhage will guide the U.S. Women's National Team through the 2012 Olympics in London, which includes the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Sundhage, 48, has led the U.S. to a record setting 32 wins to date this year (32-1-2), which includes the team’s memorable run to the Olympic championship, culminating in the gold medal victory against Brazil in Beijing, China.
“Pia has demonstrated the qualities of a great leader, a great soccer tactician and she is a winner,” Gulati said in a statement. “We are extremely happy to have her on board for the next cycle of the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics and will be looking forward to seeing the Women’s National Team program grow under her direction for the next four years.”
Hired in November of 2007, Sundhage (pronounced Soond-hahg-Eh) went to work immediately, preparing the team for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and the 2008 Olympic Games. The U.S. captured the five tournaments it participated in during 2008. They won the Four Nations Tournament in China in January, the Algarve Cup in March in Portugal, the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico in April, the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea in June and the Olympic Games in August.
At the Olympics, Sundhage’s team accomplished something never before done in U.S. history as it rebounded from an opening-game loss to earn the Olympic gold medal.
“We’ve done so many things in a short amount of time and been successful so far,” Sundhage said in a statement. “The reason it is so exciting to continue with this team is that I can see the potential. Last January, we started talking about keeping possession and finding the rhythm and I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far, but these next steps will be about going into the attacking third and being even more unpredictable, playing more beautiful soccer and scoring more goals. With this team spirit, the American culture, and the American way, we can make that happen in the coming years.”