U.S. Soccer tabs Australia’s Tom Sermanni as new Women’s National Team coach

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After an Australian Women’s National Team match against the United States in September, NBC Sports’ Kyle Martino asked head coach Tom Sermanni about his interest in the U.S. Women’s job. The 58-year-old Scot, who has coached Australia since leaving the U.S. club scene in 2003, called Pia Sundhage’s former position the best coaching job in the world.

On Tuesday, Sermanni was named to that position, becoming the seventh head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history. He start his new job on Jan. 1.

In an announcement posted to U.S. Soccer’s website, federation president Sunil Gulati trumpeted Sermanni’s experience and familiarity with the U.S. game.

“After an extensive search and interview process, we believe Tom Sermanni is the right person at the right time to lead our Women’s National Team … He has the knowledge, experience and vision to take on the challenge of keeping our team at the top of the world. He has a tremendous passion for the game, knows the American players, understands our system and knows the process of preparing a team for a World Cup tournament.”

Sermanni:

“U.S. Soccer has always been at the forefront of supporting the women’s game, and it’s exciting to coach the team in this next chapter of its history. After coaching against many of these players for years, I am looking forward to working with an accomplished group of veterans while integrating the numerous talented young players who are itching for a chance to prove themselves.”

Though Sermanni wasn’t one of the favorites, he’s been linked with the job since Sundhage resigned. He’s well-respected for his work (both in the States and in Australia), and his hiring is the result of a long, thorough search by Gulati and U.S. Soccer.

When speaking to the press, Gulati always insisted at least one international candidate was in the picture. Between the perpetual link and today’s the hiring of Sermanni, it looks like that candidate was always near the center, even if double-digit people were interviewed.

We’ll have reaction, analysis, perspective on the appointment as the day unfolds, but for now, we’ll let the announcement sink in. U.S. Soccer has tabbed Australia national team coach Tom Sermanni to replace Pia Sundhage.

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

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MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

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In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.

Report: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan

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First Dax McCarty ahead of the 2017 season, and now Sacha Kljestan?

It seems as though the New York Red Bulls could be on the verge of trading away yet another club captain this offseason.

[ MORE: LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman ]

According to Metro, Los Angeles FC is close to trading for Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan.

The U.S. Men’s National Team attacker has led Major League Soccer in assists over the last two seasons, and has served as an integral piece in the Red Bulls midfield since joining the club in 2015.

The Red Bulls made Kljestan club captain ahead of the 2017 season when former midfielder Dax McCarty was traded away to the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.

Kljestan spent the first five seasons of his MLS career with now-defunct side Chivas USA, before playing in Europe Belgian club Anderlecht.

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

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It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.

LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.

The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.

“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”

With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.

The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.