Sundhage stepping down as USWNT head coach to return to Sweden

PiaSundage (ISIPhotos.com)

Pia Sundhage has led the U.S. Women's national team to two Olympic gold medals during her four years in charge, but that wasn't enough to keep her around for another four years.

Sundhage's desire to return to her native Sweden has led her to decide to leave the U.S. team 

“It was an honor to be able to coach these players for five years and I learned a tremendous amount from them,” Sundhage said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “I want to thank all the players and all of my assistant coaches for making me better. Before I took this job, I always admired the spirit and character of the U.S. team, but to experience that first-hand on the training field and from the bench as their coach was truly special and something I will treasure for the rest of my life."

Sundhage compiled a record of 88-6-10 during her four years in charge of the women's national team, leading the team to two Olympic gold medals and the team's first World Cup final appearance since 1999.

The search for a new head coach is already underway, with no timetable set for a new hire.

The news comes on the same day the U.S. Women's national team is set to play its first match since beating Japan in the Olympic Final.

What do you think of this development? Impressed with Sundhage's tenure? Who do you see replacing her?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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25 Responses to Sundhage stepping down as USWNT head coach to return to Sweden

  1. dikranovich says:

    very impressive record!!!

  2. beachbum says:

    This is not a surprise. Nothing but the best wishes for her and a thank you big time! She took over a team split apart by previous mismanagement (that’s what I’d call the Solo/Scurry WC decision fiasco) and instilled a positivity, and a sincere one, not just words and fluff, and that team responded to it and her.

    I wasn’t on board at first but admit to being won over quickly and becoming a big supporter even when she did things like bench Carli; Pia could admit a mistake and turn it into something good for the team, just an awesome quality in my mind, a true leader in that respect, and as usual her team would respond positively. She had their true respect.

    the USWNT has to make sure to keep Sweden down when they play them, can’t let Pia get an emotional upper hand when she returns there

    Thank you Pia Sundhage and best of luck (against all but the USWNT of course)!

  3. somedude says:

    She makes other U.S. coaches look inept

  4. downintexas says:

    Hope Solo just tweet that Pia had to resign cause she slammed Hopes face into a locker then made her eat her gold medal.

  5. ... says:

    Is Pia going to coach the game today, or is she already gone?

  6. Dank says:

    She had a lot of talent true, but that’s got to be one of the top international records ever.

  7. agnigrin says:

    Yes she will coach today and the game vs Australia…. not sure about the Germany games…

  8. Gnarls says:

    Legend!

  9. agnigrin says:

    Pia was a good coach and the players like her so it is sad to see her go but 5 years with one Nat team is enough time to get some one with a fresh perspective!

    Interesting to see no Brandi Chastain as color commentator for today’s game. Looks like Kate Markgraf, who did a fine job during the Olympics, has taken her place.

  10. agnigrin says:

    Read this one:

    Pia was a good coach and the players like her so it is sad to see her go but 5 years with one Nat team is enough. Time to get some one with a fresh perspective!

    Interesting to see no Brandi Chastain as color commentator for today’s game. Looks like Kate Markgraf, who did a fine job during the Olympics, has taken her place.

  11. Old School says:

    Huh?

  12. beachbum says:

    what a moment!

    Abby scores and runs to the sideline to hug Pia and the team surrounds them in group hug!!!

    awesome

  13. TomG says:

    I thought it was kind of funny, actually.

  14. Hope says:

    Brandi will be the next USWNT manager so they oulled her from the broadcast

  15. Old School says:

    Haha.

  16. ec says:

    Great record, she oversaw a couple of very memorable teams. I had a number of friends who are sports fans but not huge soccer fans mention around this year’s olympics that they enjoy the women’s team more than the men’s team.

  17. marden08 says:

    She was an excellent coach, with a low key persona and a hoot. With the exception of more of more of Hope Solo’s non event nonsense they seemed like the players were all on the same page. Her record is outstanding and we can only wish her all the best

  18. Juan says:

    Shes done a good job but I think it was time. I think she was too locked in on certain players and we were not really going anywhere. We need to get more technical and I hope the next coach is one that will take us higher.

    Days are fast disappearing where we can win cause were better athletes.

    How long will it be before she’s coaching Sweden? Not too long Ill wager

  19. JHawk says:

    Hope Solo doesn’t think this statement is funny… ha ha

  20. smokeminside says:

    Maybe that’s cuz the men’s team wasn’t there? ;()

  21. borat says:

    She definitely gives me a ‘pia’ in my pantz…. yeah yeah?

  22. borat says:

    This instantly makes the USA women team 3x more hotter.

  23. Broseph says:

    Yeah we really weren’t going anywhere, except for those two Olympic gold medals and an extremely narrow defeat in a World Cup final. She really is just garbage.

  24. beachbum says:

    you clearly don’t watch the USWNT if you think they win becasue of simply having better athletes

    watch the games before commenting because from your predisposed commentary position it reveals you do not actually watch the games