U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced today the hiring of Tom Sermanni as the seventh head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history.

Sermanni, 58, comes to U.S. Soccer with 11 years of experience as a head coach in international women’s soccer – all with Australia – a period during which he led the Matildas in three Women’s World Cup tournaments.

Sermanni will officially begin his tenure as the WNT head coach on Jan. 1, 2013. U.S. Soccer Women’s Development Director Jill Ellis, who was on the bench for the USA’s two recent draws with Germany, will coach the team for the last five matches of the Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic. Due to his prior commitments with the Australia Women’s National Team as he finishes up his responsibilities with the Matildas, Sermanni will not be attending the next two matches in Portland and Phoenix. Sermanni will be observing the U.S. Women’s National Team for the last three matches of the 2012 tour, which will be announced in the near future.

“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,” said Gulati. “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. We’re tremendously excited to have him on board as we look forward to qualification for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.”

Sermanni comes to U.S. Soccer after eight years as head coach of the Australia Women’s National Team, which he coached in both the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, reaching the quarterfinal stage at both events. That eight-year period was Sermanni’s second stint with Australia, as he also coached the Matildas from 1994 through 1997, during which time he led the team to the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to work with tremendous players and in a program that has had such a tradition of success,” said 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. It will be an exciting few years for the U.S. team and for all the great fans as we work toward the highest goals at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.”

In order to thoroughly examine the possible choices, Gulati headed a search committee that included U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn, former U.S. Women’s National Team players Mia Hamm and Danielle Slaton, and managing Director of Administration Tom King. The committee reviewed more than 30 male and female candidates both domestically and internationally.

During his time in charge of Australia, Sermanni helped bring the team into the top 10 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Named the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year, Sermanni led Australia to a runner-up finish at the 2006 AFC Women’s Cup, where the team fell to China in penalty kicks, and to the championship in 2010, when the youthful Matildas downed Korea DPR in penalties.

Sermanni coached all three seasons of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), serving as an assistant for the San Jose CyberRays during the inaugural season, in which he helped the club to the league championship. He was also an assistant for the CyberRays in 2002 before taking the head coaching job of the New York Power in 2003, where he coached U.S. Women’s National Team legends Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Tiffeny Milbrett.

Sermanni, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, had a long playing career as a midfielder from 1971 through 1989, playing more than 300 professional matches and scoring more than 50 goals. He quickly transitioned into coaching both men’s and women’s professional soccer all over the world, including stints in Japan, the USA and Malaysia.

Sermanni follows Mike Ryan (1985), Anson Dorrance (1986-1994), Tony DiCicco (1994-1999), April Heinrichs (2000-2004), Greg Ryan (2005-2007) and Pia Sundhage (2008-2011) as official coaches of the U.S. Women’s National Team, which has been ranked No. 1 in the world since winning the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing, China.

Source: ussoccer.com

Photo: Getty Images

  1. gromit 8 years ago

    I easily recognized the two pics ! Just before and just after her penalty in the shoot-out Final :o)

  2. jonathan gardner 9 years ago

    Actually I am quite objective that is why I did not disagree about the other players you listed. We have seen the positive contributions and failings of all of these players (Wambach and Solo included). Those other players do not have the upside that Wambach and Solo have. For Solo her age in the 2015 WWC won’t be that big of a hinderance given the way keepers typically perform as they age. I agree that we should be developing future keepers, which has been happening with the u23 and u20 teams already. Getting the younger keepers into camp and friendlies is alot different than immediately doing without Solo starting January when Sermanni first starts with the team. There is reason to give players games as a backstop against the chance that Solo will decline, but no logical reason to immediately drop her when the decline is not absolutely expected. Nadine Angerer is still playing games for the German team today.


    For Wambach it is possible that she will decline before the 2015 WWC, but once again it is unknown. She is not a speedy player that is to be certain. But she has not needed to be speedy to score important goals the last two years. Opposing teams still need to respect and defend her, and even when they do, she still scores. Once again dropping her today because she could decline makes no sense. Bring in other players and give them games, keep Wambach fit by giving her game time. Get a player in that has some traits similiar to Wambach such as Hagen to allow team  continuity. Let the new players grow, and see where things are leading into the WWC 2015. If Wambach truly can’t play then don’t pick her for the WWC squad, if she is at best a bench player, then use her as a sub. But it makes no sense to drop her today. Some players continue to get things done at older ages. I wouldn’t bet the house on whether any given player will be able to do it, but I wouldn’t drop them early either. 


    It is not the idea of bringing in new players and getting them game time that bothers me. That is the smart thing to do. It is the idea spread by haters of some players that thank god we have a new coach now drop Wambach, Solo, whoever today, that I think it ridiculous. (Not necessarily you, but others her and on BS have been saying this for 3 years already, even with Wambach’s contributions at WWC 2011 and Olympics 2012).Hell they want to drop Solo not for her play, but because they don’t like her personality. 


  3. gromit 9 years ago

    Well, @Jonathan, usually people who laugh are happy, so I’m happy to make you happy ;o))

    Hope Solo is clearly the best GK in the world today. Did I say the contrary ? She said – I don’t invent anything – that she was not very keen to go and play until 2015 WC and 2016 OG. I don’t think that a reponsible coach must wait for the last minute to find a new GK with enough international experience.

    About Abby Wambach. Yes, she scored many goals THIS year. But do you really think that she’ll still be at the top in 3 and 4 years time ? Let’s be honest. Abby can’t run anymore at high level. She just wanders around in the penalty area and waits for – mainly – Alex Morgan decisive passes. How long can she last like that ? Three (and four) years time is absolutely huge for any player when you’re over 30. And to me Wambach seems reaching her physical limits at the moment. She possibly can be more or less fit and scored some more goals one or two years but I can’t imagine her doing it in 3 or 4. Do you want to see her finishing her international career in the same sad way than Birgit Prinz at last WC ? Am I anti-USA because I’m trying to see the thing objectively ? I think I’m more objective on the subject than you, actually. First, because I’m not a US citizen or a USNT’s supporter. Second, because you find “normal” what I wrote about players like Lloyd for instance but not for iconic Solo and Wambach. I can understand your reaction anyway. If you have been Wambachs’ and Solo’s fan from ages (since their beginning in NT), you probably can’t accept the idea not to see them anymore under the NT’s shirt, particularly if it’s not their own will to stop (as for Wambach) and maybe more if it’s a Frenchman who says it ;o)) But I really won’t hold a grudge against you for that ! I know how Football (and even Soccer !) can be an emotional thing !

  4. jonathan gardner 9 years ago

    ???? Grommit – you said ”  But yes, Sermanni should have to do without players like Mitts, Buehler, Rampone, Boxx, Wambach, Le Peilbet, Lloyd or Solo.”


    I know we have discussed at length in other threads that you don’t appreciate the style that the USA plays. But are you honestly saying that if you were coach of the USWNT that you would dump Wambach and Solo today??  I think that can only be a desire for a fan of the French team, but not a fan of the USA team.  Solo has proven to be the best goalkeeper in the world repeatedly. In the last year with a terrible back 4 in front of her. So what benefit to the “USA” team would it be to drop her?  Of course the same can be said for Wambach with 23 goals so far this year. Second in scoring in the Olympics 2012, Second in scoring in Women’s World Cup 2011 (tied with Marta who had less games played). She is still getting it done.


    The rest of the people you list, sure better might be found, but those 2, make me laugh.


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