U.S. Soccer tabs Tom Sermanni as new USWNT 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.