U.S. Soccer announced Sermanni’s hiring Tuesday.
He is currently head coach of Australia’s women’s national team and will take the reins of the U.S. team on Jan. 1, 2013.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to work with tremendous players and in a program that has had such a tradition of success,” Sermanni said. “U.S. Soccer has always been at the forefront of supporting the women’s game, and it’s exciting to coach the team in this next chapter of its history.”
U.S. Soccer’s search committee picked Sermanni after interviewing over 30 candidates, both foreign and domestic. The 58-year-old has 11 years of experience coaching at the international level, having lead Australia from 1994-97 and 2004-12.
Sermanni turned the Matildas, as the Australian women’s team is known, into a formidable team. They reached the quarterfinals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and are currently ranked ninth in the world.
He replaces Pia Sundhage, who stepped down last month after a five-year tenure which ended with Olympic gold. The Scotland-born Sermanni will guide the same players he faced on a number of occasions in recent years.
“After coaching against many of these players for years, I am looking forward to working with an accomplished group of veterans while integrating the numerous talented young players who are itching for a chance to prove themselves,” Sermanni said. “It will be an exciting few years for the U.S. team and for all the great fans as we work toward the highest goals at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.”
Sermanni is no stranger to the structure of the women’s game in this country. He spent three seasons (2001-03) coaching in the defunct Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) — two of them as an assistant with the San Jose CyberRays and one as head coach of the New York Power.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati thinks Sermanni is the right person to lead the women’s national team to victory at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
“He has the knowledge, experience and vision to take on the challenge of keeping our team at the top of the world,” Gulati said. “He has a tremendous passion for the game, knows the American players, understands our system and knows the process of preparing a team for a World Cup tournament. We’re tremendously excited to have him on board as we look forward to qualification for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.”
U.S. Soccer women’s development director Jill Ellis will continue as interim head coach until Sermanni assumes his new role at the start of 2013.
Photo via Twitter/@TomSermanni