CHICAGO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Australian Tom Sermanni has been hired to coach the U.S. women's national soccer team, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced Tuesday.
Sermanni, 58, who guided the Australian women's team in FIFA women's World Cup tournaments, will officially become the seventh coach of the U.S. women's team Jan. 1. He follows Pia Sundhage, a Swede who had coached the U.S. squad since 2008 but left to take over the Swedish team.
U.S. Soccer Women's Development Director Jill Ellis, who was the Americans' coach for two recent draws with Germany, will lead the team for the last five matches of its Fan Tribute Tour while Sermanni wraps up his commitments to the Aussie team.
"After an extensive search and interview process, we believe Tom Sermanni is the right person at the right time to lead our women's national team," Gulati said in a statement posted on the organization's website. "He has the knowledge, experience and vision to take on the challenge of keeping our team at the top of the world. 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."
Sermanni said his new job will allow him to "work with tremendous players and in a program that has had such a tradition of success."
"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," he said. "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."