Pia Mariane Sundhage was born in Ulricehamn, Sweden on the 13th of February 1960.


Playing Career:


Pia started playing football as a youth for IFK Ulricehamn, she played most of her career as a forward her first senior club was Falköpings KIK in 1978, and she then joined Jitex BK from 1979 to 1981. Sundhage played 1982 to 1983 with Östers IF, scoring 30 goals in her first season with the club and then another 35 goals in her second season. In1984 she moved back to Jitex BK. While in1985 Pia split her time between Stattena IF and S.S. Lazio (where she scored 17 goals), and Jitex BK. She played the 1986 football season with Hammarby IF DFF, before she then moved back to Jitex BK. From 1979 through till1989 Pia finished her football club career with Hammarby IF DFF playing for 6 years from 1990 until she retired in 1996.Also at club level she has won four Damallsvenskan championships, all with Jitex BK, and two Svenska Cupen with the club. She also won two Svenska Cupen while playing at Hammarby IF DFF.


She was called up for the Swedish national team at the age of 15 playing her first game in 1975, During her time Sweden’s national team she made 146 appearances and scored 71 goals for her country between 1975 to 1996, she participated for Sweden in the 1991 and 1995 (finishing 3rd) FIFA Women’s World Cup and at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She won the 1984 UEFA Women’s Championship. Her image has appeared on a Swedish postage stamp in 1988.In 1989 Pia scored the first goal in a women’s football match at Wembley Stadium,England, in which Sweden beat England 2 – 0 in a curtain raiser for the Rous Cup.
In 2000 Pia Sundhage finished sixth in the voting for FIFA Women’s Player of the Century.


Coaching career:

Pia got her start in coaching as a player/manager when she was with Hammarby IF DFF from 1992 to 1994. She then took on assistant jobs with Vallentuna BK (1998 to 1999) and AIK Fotboll Dam (2000) before moving to the USA to become an assistant coach with Philadelphia Charge in the new Women’s United Soccer Association of the United States. She was hired then by the Boston Breakers as the head coach, winning the league title with them and being named the 2003 WUSA Coach of the Year as well. Once the WUSA folded however, she went back to Scandinavia to take on further coaching positions.

Her relationship with the Boston Breakers led the US Women’s National Team’s captain Kristine Lilly and fellow player Kate Markgraf joining her in the Swedish Damallsvenskan while Pia coached KIF Örebro DFF from 2005 till 2006, after a brief spell with Kolbotn IL in 2004. Lilly said she “wanted to play for Pia again.”

Pia served as an assistant to Marika Domanski Lyfors at the Chinese Women’s National Team during the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. On the 13th of November 2007 Pia Sundhage was announced as the United States Women’s National Team head coach she became the seventh head coach in the USA national team’s history and only the third woman to have taken charge.

While as head coach of the United States Pia has won the 2008 Algarve Cup and a Gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She was on the verge of winning the 2009 Algarve Cup again but the team lost out to Sweden on penalties.
She coached the US Women’s national team to the final of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the team got to the final for the first time since 1999. However they lost to Japan 3 – 1 on penalty kicks.



Falköpings KIK in 1978
Jitex BK 1979 till 1981
Östers IF 1982 till 1983
Jitex BK in 1984
S.S. Lazio in1985
Stattena IF in 1985 
Jitex BK 
Hammarby IF DFF in 1986 
Jitex BK 1987 till 1989
Hammarby IF DFF 1990 till 1996

National team:

Sweden from 1975 till 1996

146 Caps



Team manager or Assistant:

Hammarby IF DFF (player/manager) 1992 till 1994
Vallentuna BK (assistant) 1998 till 1999
AIK Fotboll Dam (assistant) in 2000
Philadelphia Charge (assistant) 2001 till 2002
Boston Breakers in 2003
Kolbotn Fotball in 2004
KIF Örebro DFF 2005 till 2006
China (assistant) in 2007
United States 2008 


  1. Women's Soccer United 8 years ago

    USA 1-0 Scotland (Rapinoe 21′) 

  2. Maureen 9 years ago

    Her career will really come full circle when she goes back to Sweden to coach the national team there.

  3. Lauren Ginn 9 years ago

    This was really interesting to read. She’s had such a great career. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Diane 9 years ago

    Kind of amazing how her career will come full circle when (yes, I said when) the US plays in the Olympic final in Wembley Stadium.

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