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2019 Women's World Cup

What will make the Sermanni-to-New Zealand move a success?

The Tom Sermanni-to-New Zealand marriage just feels right. The affable Scotsman with prior experience in that part of the world is taking over a side that has been through a rough two years. It is a side that can use a soft hand to guide it.

Sermanni lands on his feet — again

When his coaching career ends — and at 64 this could be his final stop — Sermanni figures to have one of the more unique resumes of anyone who has graced the women’s game. His work with Australia is well known and he is largely credited with creating a Matildas side many believe can win the 2019 World Cup, and yet he never took them beyond the quarterfinals. His tenure with the United States is remembered mostly for the unceremonious manner in which Sunil Gultai fired him, but the first year produced some beautiful, free-flowing soccer.

Sermanni’s first foray into the club game was as an assistant with the Bay Area CyberRays in WUSA. Playing good cop to his gruffer boss, Ian Sawyers, Sermanni helped that team overcome a slow start to capture the inaugural title in that league. Two years later, he parlayed that success into the head coaching job with the New York Power. After trading the top pick and the chance to draft Aly Wagner, Sermanni helped turn Shannon Boxx (part of the trade) into one of the best midfielders in the world and took a side that won three games in 2002 to the brink of the playoffs in 2003.

WUSA folded that fall, costing Sermanni and the Power a chance to finish the job. His influence was evident as recently as last weekend. Tiffeny Milbrett was the star of that Power team and a decade and a half later, she tapped Sermanni to present her upon induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame…

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