Last evening, on the heels of a 2-0 victory against once-upon-a-time-rival China (what’s up, 1999?), it was announced that the head coach of the United States Women’s National Team–i.e., the face of women’s professional soccer–had been canned. An interesting move for a team that spent a considerable amount of time vetting longtime, legendary coach Pia Sundhage’s replacement, and one that, despite the late hour, whipped social media into a frenzy.
Given the tumultuous history of the USWNT in the last decade, there will be no shortage of speculation about what caused U.S. Soccer head honcho Sunil Gulati to terminate head coach Tom Sermanni (formerly famous for being the Scotsman with the least Scottish-sounding name).
The Women’s National squad fared poorly (by which I mean a 7th place finish, including a loss to Sundhage’s new squad, the Swedish national team) in the most recent Algarve Cup, a longstanding yearly tournament hosted by Portugal that the USWNT has typically dominated. But the USWNT has never been short of vocal players who ultimately get what they want, and they’re also not used to losing so much in so little a time.
With approximately 18 months to prepare for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, U.S. Soccer is undoubtedly scrambling to find the perfect, player-approved, results-oriented coach. Or, you know, maybe Pia could start returning her messages!