Tony DiCicco has been ruled out of the running for the vacant U.S. women’s national team job.
U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn called DiCicco on Wednesday to inform DiCicco that the federation was going with a different candidate. The job is expected to come down to current interim coach Jill Ellis and ex-U.S. assistant coach Tony Gustavsson, according to sources and multiple reports.
Ellis said recently that she wants the job, unlike the last time it was available when she removed her name. Gustavsson has been relatively coy, but Swedish media have reported Gustavsson is close to the job. He was an assistant under Pia Sundhage in 2012 and has Swedish club Tyresö FF in the UEFA Champions League final next week.
UPDATE: It looks like the new U.S. women’s coach will be named on Friday:
— Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati) May 15, 2014
DiCicco told The Equalizer that he is “disappointed” after going through the interview process for the second time in two years, but said he will support the U.S. team no matter what. DiCicco was also interviewed for the U.S. job in the fall of 2012, when Tom Sermanni was ultimately hired. Sermanni was surprisingly fired on April 6 for what USSF president Sunil Gulati called “underlying issues.”
The U.S. last won a World Cup in 1999, when DiCicco was at the helm. DiCicco also guided the U-20 U.S. women to a World Cup title in 2010, a team that included forwards Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux. He last coached professionally in WPS from 2009-11, when he was in charge of the Boston Breakers.
DiCicco feels he is ideally suited to identify talent that needs to be found and developed, but U.S. Soccer has chosen a different direction.
“I feel confident in my ability to transition a team,” DiCicco said.
The transition for the U.S. will need to be both quick and seamless, with World Cup qualifying only five months away.
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