ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - After leading Orlando Pride to its first playoff berth in its second season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the Club has signed head coach Tom Sermanni to a contract extension.
“Keeping Tom was a no-brainer for our Club,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said. “He is one of, if not the, most accomplished coaches in soccer. His track record speaks for itself. I can’t wait to see what Tom and the Pride do in the upcoming NWSL playoffs and beyond.”
“It’s exciting. I’ve had a great two years here. This gives me another opportunity to continue to build the squad; to build the culture and philosophy around the team and just to be a part of this great organization,” Sermanni said. “Orlando has felt like home to me virtually from day one when I came here. It’s wonderful. There’s the stadium, there’s the people in the Club and the community as well. It’s a mix of all of those things that makes this Club unique. And having been in football for some considerable time, you don’t often get that complete environment and that’s what makes this Club very special to me.”
Sermanni is the only head coach in the Pride’s two-year history and led Orlando to a 2017 NWSL Playoff berth, compiling a nine-game unbeaten run to end the regular season. After finishing the inaugural campaign in ninth position, Sermanni transformed the Pride during the offseason and propelled the side six spots up the table, ending the 2017 regular season with the third overall seed.
The Pride begin their playoff run at Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 3:30 p.m. ET at Providence Park in Oregon.
Sermanni, 63, previously coached the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 17-2-4 record, the No. 1 FIFA ranking and the 2013 Algarve Cup between January 2013 to April 2014. Sermanni also coached the Australia WNT from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2002 to 2012, leading the Matildas to the quarterfinals of the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Sermanni was instrumental in developing young talents in both the US and Australia national team pool such as Julie Johnston Ertz, Crystal Dunn, Morgan Brian, 2017 Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr and Orlando Pride defenders Alanna Kennedy and Steph Catley. As head coach of the New York Power in the Women’s United Soccer Association, Sermanni was nominated for Coach of the Year in 2002.
As a player, Sermanni made over 300 appearances in a professional career that spanned two decades in Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand. The Glasgow, Scotland, native began his coaching career following his retirement from playing in 1989.
Information provided by Orlando Pride.