Seven Finalists For WNT Head Coach.
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, speaking with reporters before the U.S. Women’s National Team took on Germany in the second of two international friendlies, said that the list of candidates for the new U.S. WNT coach had been narrowed to seven finalists.
He also said that the goal was to announce a new coach by November 1. That coach will replace Pia Sundhage, who resigned the position to become the new WNT in her native Sweden. She coached her final game on Sept. 19, concluding a U.S. career with a 91-6-10 record over five years.
He was at the coaching helm when the team won two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“We were actually very impressed overall with the level of responses we got both in the interviews and interest (in the job) to start with,” Gulati said of the candidate pool. “Some of those coaches are American based, some are international based so overall I’ve been very pleased with the process in terms of the quality of candidates we’ve had in front of us.”
Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer’s director of women’s player development, has been coaching the national team in Sundhage’s absence, including two games against Germany when ended in draws. She is said to not be a candidate for the full-time position.
Among those understood to be in contention are former U.S. coach Tony DiCicco, who led the Americans to the 1999 Women’s World Cup title, and Paul Riley, who managed the Philadelphia Independence in Women’s Professional Soccer.
“We want to make sure we get it right,” Gulati said. “Jill is available to us going beyond this month if we need to for this particular team, but my guess is we’re going to be ready by Nov. 1. I hope so.”
The U.S. women are scheduled to play a pair of exhibition matches against Ireland on Nov. 28 in Portland, Ore., and Dec. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.
Gulati also addressed the potential formation of a new professional league to replace WPS, which folded in May after three seasons.
“Working very hard on that with a number of investors and our friends at the Canadian Soccer Association, and I think over the next 10 days … we’ll have some interesting things to say there as well,” he said.