Tom Sermanni has been sacked as the coach for the United States women’s national soccer team with immediate effect.
Sermanni’s firing is quite the shock as it comes just seven months before the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign. Plus, he had just led his side to a 2-0 win over China on Sunday in Colorado.
However, it’s believed that the team’s poor performance at the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal ultimately cost him his job. The United States finished seventh, and along the way they were defeated 1-0 and 5-3 by Sweden and Denmark respectively. Before this the side had gone 43 matches without tasting defeat.
It’s also believed that several players had complained that they hadn’t learned or progressed under Sermanni, and that their skills had stagnated.
It has been reported that Sermanni was deeply shocked and surprised by his termination, and he decided not to speak to reporters after learning of the news.
59-year-old Sermanni did release a statement regarding his sacking, which read, “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 their hard work.”
Jill Ellis, who is a former UCLA coach, has been hired to replace Sermanni on an interim basis. Her first match comes later this week, when USA take on China in San Diego on Thursday. It won’t be Ellis’ first tenure in the position though, because she previously coached the USA to a record of 5 wins, 2 draws, and no losses between October 2012 and December 2012.
The Scottish born Sermanni was appointed on October 30 2012, before finally beginning his post on 1 January 2013. He replaced the departing Pia Sundhage who left to manage her native Sweden.
He was appointed after his impressive two terms as the Australia women’s manger, which were between 1994 – 1996 and 2005 – 2012. Sermanni also coached for Candberra Croatia/Mteros, Australian Schoolboys, Australian Institute of Sport, Sydney Olympic FC, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Canberra Cosmos, New York Power, and Sarawak.
Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer President, has confirmed that the search for Sermanni’s replacement has already begun.
Gulati said of Sermanni’s dismissal, “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. 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.”
[Image via Thewomensgame/Wikimedia]