USWNT: Press Conference Does Little to Answer Questions around Tom Sermanni’s Firing


Photo via USsoccer.com

A day after Tom Sermanni was let go as USWNT head coach, US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati staged a very popular press conference to answer questions surrounding the decision. With the expectation that the USWNT is supposed to dominate, recent results have disappointed. However, the timing was questionable with the 2015 World Cup qualifying only six months away. Gulati walked the company line during the conference despite rumors over player frustration and a lack of direction from Sermanni.

Many reporters were unable to get their questions in today showing just how popular this topic became after the late Sunday news release. Gulati said “that no specific event was the sole reason for the change”. However, the review of the situation began before the Algarve Cup, but the results in Portugal fast tracked the issue at hand. Perhaps the biggest question was whether or not this was a player revolt that spurred the decision. Gulati provided an answer that left room for imagination.

“The players are always consulted…This was not a collective group of players saying we need to make a change.”

In other words the players could have had almost all of the input or very little of the input. Gulati said three or four things led to the decision. Yet, players were asked not to share anything on social media and basically given an order to stay quiet. This decision raised some red flags as to whether the players majority influenced the decision or not. The players’ role in the decision could be revelaed later this week. They will have responsibilities with press leading up to Thursday’s friendly against China and a public training session later this week.

Sermanni was never Gulati’s first choice, and his style did not work for the players or Gulati. He failed to continue the dominant success which some may consider balance for the team. When players are knocked off balance they speak up. Unfortunately for Sermanni he rightfully saw a need to increase the player pool with an aging core of players. The thin line between finding new players and staying dominant was hard to Sermanni to navigate, but he may not have known where he stood in the eyes of USSF leadership.

Gulati said “he has a short list of people to be the next coach and would prefer a woman, but there is not always two qualified candidates”. Sermanni was a great person and came off as a genuine man. In the end, he did have some troubles in the eyes of those judging him. His experimentation was excessive by making too many change to a once dominant program. It seems like Gulati had a very short leash around Sermnani.

In the end, Gulati comes off as the bad guy, although that isn’t something new. He failed to truly answer many of the questions surrounding the events of the last 24 hours. If you search twitter, you will see a lot of people calling for him to be relieved of his duties. There will be plenty of reporters down the road that will help explain the motives and players behind the Sermanni firing, but for now ,we are still left to ponder exactly what happened.

Douglas Smith is a writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39  add him to your network on Google.


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One Response to USWNT: Press Conference Does Little to Answer Questions around Tom Sermanni’s Firing

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