Pia Sundhage: US Women's National Team Head Coach Worthy of a Farewell Tour
United States Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage will step down, ending an era of incredible success under her direction. She deserves all the praise she will receive in the coming weeks.
Sundhage made her announcement Saturday shortly before the United States started a post-Olympic tour of friendlies, and Fox Sports notes that she will likely leave the team after its friendly on September 19 against Australia. The news clearly gave the upcoming matches new meaning, and the Americans beat Costa Rica 8-0 in Rochester, N.Y. after learning their coach’s decision.
Similarly inspired performances will likely characterize the United States’ matches on the rest the tour as the team tries to end Sundhage’s tenure on a high note.
The 52-year-old Swede took over the USWNT coaching position in 2007, and led the team to two Olympic gold medals (2008 vs. Brazil and 2012 vs. Japan) and a World Cup final in 2011, which the team lost to Japan on penalties. She is currently 89-6-10 with the United States after the team beat Costa Rica, as noted by USSoccer.com.
For Sundhage, there would be no greater accomplishment than leading her home country to victory at a World Cup or Olympics. She has earned this chance through her years of dedication to the United States.
She managed to maintain an amiable demeanor and always had a smile on her face, even though she was leading the most scrutinized women’s soccer team in the world. Despite the pressure and the expectations, she never seemed to be fazed.
In modern soccer, being kind and incredibly successful is a difficult task. Sundhage pulled this off for nearly five years, and she has made a tremendous contribution to soccer in the United States.
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