USWNT Players Great Power Must Come with Responsibility, Accountability


photo courtesy of ussoccer.com

While it seemed like nothing major was going to occur after the United States Women’s National Team 2-0 win over China, the US Soccer Federation shocked many by firing head coach Tom Sermanni late Sunday night. Many are not shocked that he was fired, but rather the timing of the decision. With a poor performance in the Algarve Cup, it seemed like Sermanni should have been fired then and there. However, that did not happen and many are scratching there heads thinking, “why now”?

At the same time, many are left pondering who was behind the firing and what were the motives. Was it Sermanni’s superiors or was it the players that influenced his exit. More and more all signs and reports are pointing to the players holding this dangerous power that potential sets up a dangerous precedent. US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati will speak to the press at 4:30 EST on Monday.

Washington Post writer Stephen Goff tweeted about the players reported thoughts about Sermanni’s coaching.

Richard Flemming followed up Goff’s reports later in the night with more insight on the situation.

As Fleming echoed, it will be tough for a new coach coming in to earn the trust and respect of the players. At the same time, allowing senior players to have pseudo firing power can lead to a slipper slope. Moreover, the 2015 World Cup is less than 15 months away and now USWNT must scramble to find a new coach as soon as possible.

On another hand, the players are also responsible for the team’s poor play recently. For example in Sunday’s USWNT match against China, US took 23 shots with 12 on goal and only two finding the back of the net. USWNT’s finishing was very poor and that can’t be blamed on Sermanni. The talented squad need to hold themselves responsible and accountable for their own play and actions on the field. The score against China could have easily been 8-0, but it wasn’t due to the teams mediocre finishing skills.

Sermanni spent much of his 16 month USWNT tenure experimenting with the lineup. Many are saying his experimental lineups are to blame for the team’s under-par performances within the last year. However, Jurgen Klinsmann has done the same thing on the USMNT side and they are doing just fine ahead of the 2014 World Cup. It makes perfect sense for Sermanni to try different starting XI and sub in different players has he planned ahead for the 2015 World Cup and respective qualifying matches later this year.

Instead, US Soccer must find Sermanni”s replacement. Likewise, it appears that the senior USWNT players will be happy with Sermanni’s exit, but they shouldn’t be. The main problem may not be Sermanni, but rather the players inability to hold themselves accountable for the team’s poor match performances. If they like having this reported firing power, they must step up responsibility wise. As the well-known saying by President Franklin D. Roosevelt goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Well, the USWNT senior players are not showing this great responsibility on the field lately. The time is now for them to step up and change quickly or else the 2015 World Cup qualifying and the 2015 World Cup could turn into the team’s worst nightmare.

Phil Naegely is owner and CEO of Stoppage Time Soccer. Follow him on Twitter @PNaegelyTSD and add him to your Google Circles.

Related Links:

Tom Sermanni Changes USWNT Formation With Minimal Results

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

2 Responses to USWNT Players Great Power Must Come with Responsibility, Accountability

  1. Okay, there are glaring problems here. First, it was premature and irresponsible to blame players at all with no knowledge of their involvement. Those quotes are extremely vague and the first doesn’t even say it came from a player. Second, the USWNT has been in camp plenty this year. Maybe they’re not finishing because it’s not a focus in training sessions. Both coach and player are partially responsible. You cannot throw it wholly on one. Lastly, the USMNT isn’t doing “just fine.” It’s going to take a miracle and a lot of luck they way they have been playing to get out of the group stage.

    • Zach,

      Thanks for reading this piece. It’s nice to have a real person, and not a spam comment filling up the comment stream.
      Secondly, my sources and well-known writers’ sources are telling them the senior players had a “power card” in the decision. The finishing issue could come down to training sessions, yet they don’t just practice at trainings.

      I was not trying to blame just the coaches or the players, but from my POV it looks like the players should be held partially responsible and they need to accept more accountability and responsibility moving forward. This could have been the coaches inability to do so, but who knows.

      I agree with your last sentence/thought. Maybe the new coach will help their chances, but it comes down to the players playing better. We may find out more at 4:30 pm EDT during the news conference. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

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