On Sunday, the USWNT played an international friendly against China at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. As the number one ranked team in the world, they defeated China 2-0. The USWNT outshot China 15-0 in the first half, but only seven of the shots were on goal. Without the play of Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, the USMNT struggled to finish any chances they had.
Lauren Holiday finally got the Americans on the scoreboard just before halftime after finishing Heather O’Reily’s rebound to put the Americans up 1-0. This gave all the momentum to the Americans because the Chinese thought they would be going into halftime with a draw. After coming on as a substitute in the second half, Megan Rapinoe scored on a free kick in the 78th minute to put the Americans up 2-0.
The USWNT comfortable beat China 2-0, but finishing was a problem. The Americans will try to fix their finishing woes when they play a rematch against China this Thursday in San Diego.
The USWNT’s win brought about some shocking news. Just after the Americans defeated China, the USWNT head coach was fired. Tom Sermanni served less than 16 months as the head coach, and his firing is effective immediately. Sermanni only felt defeat twice in his 24 games as a head coach.
Before coaching the USWNT, Sermanni was the head coach for the Australian national team. He had big shoes to fill as the USWNT head coach though. Replacing Pia Sundhage was not easy, and Sermanni found that out the hard way. Sundhage left the USWNT to go coach the Sweden national team, where she is originally from. She won two Olympic gold medals and lost a World Cup final in penalty kicks with the USWNT. She also held the number one ranking in the world the whole time she was coaching.
Sermanni’s firing came as a surprise because he did not get the opportunity to coach for very long. But he was too casual as a coach. He wanted to change the whole idea of the USWNT, and it did not work. He wanted to create a possession-based team, rather than sticking with the aggressive and fast nature Sundhage created. The USWNT needs a hard; almost dictator like coach, and Sermanni was the exact opposite. Even though the Americans are still ranked number one in the world according to FIFA, the USWNT decided to go in a different direction in order to get ready for the 2016 World Cup in Canada.
This is the USWNT 8th coach in just a 30 years. U.S. Soccer Director of Development, Jill Ellis, will serve as the USWNT interim head coach until a replacement is hired.