01 September, 2012

Pia Sundhage To Step Down from USWNT Head Coach Position

The USWNT Post-Olympic Tour, to quote ESPN, "Will also be a farewell tour," as after 5 years in charge, Pia Sundhage will be stepping down from the manager role of the USWNT.

“It was an honor to be able to coach these players for five years and I learned a tremendous amount from them,” said Sundhage. “I want to thank all the players and all of my assistant coaches for making me better. Before I took this job, I always admired the spirit and character of the U.S. team, but to experience that first-hand on the training field and from the bench as their coach was truly special and something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Although it is time to move on, I’d like to thank U.S. Soccer for this wonderful opportunity and I wish this team and the players all the best in the future.”

 The leaving of Sundhage to return home to Sweden was expected by US Soccer for some time now and she hopes to finish out her tour with the USWNT as they take on Australia and Germany in two matches each, wrapping up in October.

As head coach, Sundhage lead the US to a 88-6-10 record including making the finals in all three major tournaments it played in including winning a rematch, for Olympic gold, of the WC finals against Japan which they had lost.  During that time, Sundhage won 11 tournament titles, including three Algarve Cup titles in Portugal, two Olympic qualifying tournaments and two Olympic gold medals.  Not too shabby.

Whoever should take over for her will have huge shoes to fill as the US always goes into matches as a favorite.

As an aside, in her first part of her farewell tour, Pia managed to see Wambach move into 2nd on the all time scoring lead for the US.  US lead at the half on Costa Rica, 5-0.

Photo: USSoccer

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