Sermanni takes over US top soccer job

October 31, 2012
By Guy Hand

It is the equivalent of the Socceroos' coach being offered the chance to take over Spain or Brazil.

So when the world No.1 women's soccer team, the United States, came knocking, Matildas' coach Tom Sermanni had an offer he couldn't refuse.

"It's all about timing and, with Australian women's football quite settled at the moment, the timing of this challenge to coach the No.1 women's football team in the world was at the right time for me to accept," Sermanni said on Wednesday.

Sermanni's eight years in the top job in Australian women's soccer has brought on-field success - most famously winning the 2010 Asian Cup.

It was Australia's first football trophy win in Asia.

The Matildas also made the past two World Cup quarter-finals under Sermanni, and are in the world's top 10.

But perhaps his greatest achievement is the quality young talent he has left behind, with Sermanni's successor set to have a most-talented batch of players to work with.

Sermanni has previously coached club soccer in the US, and replaces Olympic Games-winning coach Pia Sundhage, who is returning to her native Sweden.

"He has the knowledge, experience and vision to take on the challenge of keeping our team at the top of the world," US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.

"He has a tremendous passion for the game, knows the American players, understands our system and knows the process of preparing a team for a World Cup tournament."

US player Abby Wambach told The Associated Press that Sermanni would have plenty to work with.

"This team is scary good, and we need to have someone who can put all the Xs and Os together," she said.

Sermanni will guide the Matildas in their East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in China from November 20 to 24 before taking up the US job early next year.