Twitter has its benefits. It keeps us in the know. It keeps us connected. Everything from deep dark thoughts to quick sarcastic banter is shared. Following US Soccer’s recent announcement of US Women’s National Team Head Coach Pia Sundhage’s successor, players from the roster offered their congratulations to their new skipper, Tom Sermanni
Carli Lloyd: “Very excited to have @TomSermanni as our new #USWNT head coach! #excited”
Alex Morgan: “Congrats to Tom Sermanni on being named our new #USWNT Head Coach!”
Abby Wambach: “Really pumped about @TomSermanni being the new uswnt head coach!!!
Megan Rapinoe: “Welcome @TomSermanni to the #uswnt!”
Sermanni comes to head the US squad straight from an 8-year stint as the Women’s National Team Head Coach in Australia. In two recent friendlies, while Sermanni was still at the helm of the Australian team, he put a roster of mostly teenagers on the pitch against a mostly veteran US squad. It was clear that Sermanni was laying the groundwork for the future of women’s soccer in Australia, not looking to simply win in the present. One can expect that Sermanni will make the infusion of youth level players into the senior team player pool his top priority as the US head coach. Though, one should not expect something as dramatic as wiping the slate clean and putting the entire U17 team on the pitch to face off against the world in 2015 at the World Cup in Canada.
Abby Wambach’s simple tweet ended quite symbolically. She wrote “moving forward”. There is no doubt that when Sermanni takes over in January he will begin to shake things up, specifically by bringing in young players. Players we commonly see in a US shirt will likely be fighting for their position far more than they did under Sundhage. Not only is the young talent across the country more than impressive, core players are getting up there in age. At the time of the next World Cup in 2015, midfielder Shannon Boxx will be 38, defender Christie Rampone will be 40, and Abby Wambach will be 35. There is a sea of great, young talent in this country and you would be hard-pressed to convince me that these, and other players will not be fighting for a spot on the pitch in two to three year’s time.
US Soccer is well aware that the gap in women’s soccer is closing globally. Countries either have caught up or are catching up. The game is growing both in terms of participation and skill; it is changing and the best teams must adapt to thrive. If the US is to remain the #1 ranked team in the world for years to come, it is imperative that future planning takes precedent over present successes. US Soccer has made their choice. Let’s see what the era of Tom Sermanni brings.