Albertin Montoya should be the next head coach of the United States Women's National Team.
Pia Sundhage has left massive shoes to fill. Montoya is someone who can step in right away and continue the success of the national team and look forward to the 2015 World Cup.
Montoya is currently the head coach of the U-17 squad who were ousted in group play at the U-17 World Cup on September 29. They failed to advance based on goal differential. The U.S., France, and North Korea were all tied with five points. It was a disappointing result for one of the tournament favorites.
The performance, however, should not deter anyone from looking at Montoya as Sundhage's replacement.
Montoya brings in a quality resume. And he has experience coaching with, and against, the world's best talent. He was the head coach of Women Professional Soccer's FC Gold Pride in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He had the opportunity to coach Christine Sinclair, Ali Riley, Rachel Buehler, Kelley O'Hara, Marta, and a host of others. He knows how to connect and coach the elite players. That is a crucial element in the next coach. Whoever takes over at the helm needs to be able to manage the egos of the top players, and Montoya has experience doing just that.
Montoya led the 2010 FC Gold Pride squad to the WPS Championship. He is no stranger to success.
As the U-17 head coach he also has experience working with youth. Another big plus for Montoya as the U.S. will need to usher in a new era as there are numerous aging players that may need to be replaced with the upcoming wave of talent.
Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx, and Heather Mitts will all be around the 40 year age mark. No matter which way you slice it that signals it is time for fresh blood. And the U.S. will need a coach who knows which youth players are best suited to takeover for the older guard.
A lot as been made of Sundhage's personality and how that helped the team dynamic. Montoya is, of course, different from Sundhage but also has an infectious personality. Anyone who has had the privilege of meeting him can tell you that. He will be able to connect with the players currently on the roster.
Montoya is the right selection for the next head coach of the USWNT because of he fits what the team currently needs. A coach that can lead a team of superstars with a pulse on the youth who are coming up fast.
He will be able to win right away with the wealth of talent he will inherit, and bring along several new national team players to fill the holes left by the older players who are on their way out. He can bridge the gap and lead the U.S. with an eye on the 2015 World Cup.
No one will make us forget the remarkable success and fun of Sundhage, but Montoya is one of a select few who can step in and do something that even she could not, and that is win the World Cup.