USWNT: Lack of Direction, Excessive Experimentation Lead to Tom Sermanni’s Firing

Tom Sermanni Fired

photo via USsoccer.com

Late Sunday night, US Soccer Federation announced they released Tom Sermanni from his USWNT head coaching duties immediately  after beating China 2-0 earlier in the day. The official release from U.S. Soccer said “the team needed to go in a different direction”.

Jill Ellis will be the interim coach for the Thursday friendly with China. The timing of the firing is peculiar in the middle of a set of friendlies and with the 2015 World Cup qualifying tournament only six months away. However, Sermanni may have dug his own grave with excessive experimentation.

As has been mentioned many times, Sermanni said that 2013 was for experimentation and 2014 was about results. However, the horrible display in the Algarve Cup was in many ways a direct result of an experimental roster filling out the team. Even Sunday, Sermanni continued to experiment going to a 4-3-3 formation that he had never tried before. He continued to call in many young players to let them get their feet wet but the play on the field has been unconvincing.

Some may say that the back line issues have been ongoing for two years, but that means Sermanni did not find a way to fix the issues. He has tried to expand his player pool over the last year, but has given no direction on the field. As mentioned in a previous post, it was time to point the compass to the World Cup but he has been steering the ship in the wrong direction. Sermanni has pieced together a team and his excessive experimentation was disastrous in Portugal. The USSF must have given Sermanni one more match to show them something and in the end the quality of play and especially the quality of finishing against China did nothing to sway the way President Sunil Gulati was leaning.

Gulati’s pride and joy is the USWNT. If he was thinking about a change it was going to come right away. Players had voiced some frustration a month ago and it is clear they did not feel like they were learning. This is the most dominant squad in women’s soccer and their performances have been dismal when the standard is set so high.

Sermanni released a statement after his firing was announced.

“I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out, but I’d like to thank U.S. Soccer for the opportunity to have coached this team and also the staff and players for all their hard work.”

USSF’s firing of Sermanni leaves the team in a slight predicament. The 2015 World Cup is approximately 15 months away. It seems like the United States are having some issues and they need to quickly turn around their play. If not, their Algrave Cup poor results could carry over throughout 2014 and 2015.

Nonetheless, Sermanni’s firing leaves more questions than answers and has many wondering just how much power does USWNT players have in coaching decisions. The only answer we have right now is that Sermanni is out and Ellis is in an interim role, which Ellis served in during 2012 and went 5-0-2.

Related Links:

Tom Sermanni Changes USWNT Formation With Minimal Results

One Response to USWNT: Lack of Direction, Excessive Experimentation Lead to Tom Sermanni’s Firing

  1. Pingback: USWNT Players' Power Must Come with Responsibility, Accountability

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