New US Women’s Soccer Head Coach Brings 29 Players to Jacksonville For Scotland Game

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US Women's National Team 2013

On this blog we like to bring you some of the exciting things happening all over Florida. One of those things happens this weekend as the US Women’s National Team is playing against Scotland in Jacksonville tonight.

It’s a case of doing new things for the Women’s National Team as not only are some new players getting a run out but they’re also doing it under the eyes of new national team Head Coach Tom Sermanni (pictured below). Ironically, Sermanni’s debut match is against the country of his birth, Scotland, at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field.

Tom Sermanni

Sermanni was born in Glasgow and played as a midfielder in Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand. His career saw him start out at Cumbernauld United before moving on to Albion Rovers, Blackpool, Torquay United, Dumferline Athletic, Canberra City and Christchurch United.

He then turned to the coaching side once his playing career came to an end and he has coached several Australian club sides including Canberra Metros and Canberra Metros. In 2003 he was hired by New York Power after a spell at San Jose Cyber Rays, and he successfully managed to turn a poor record around in New York as the team manged to record a respectable fifth place finish after losing 17 games from their previous 21 games.

US Women's National Team 2013US Women's National Team 2013

Sermanni then took on the job as coach of Australian women in December 2004 where he did well to get them to the quarterfinals of the World Cup on three occasions before deciding to accept the biggest challenge of his career so far, in coaching the US Women’s National Team.

“I’m excited to get out on the field and work with the team for the first time,” said Sermanni. “For this particular part of the cycle, it’s important to look at some established players in the squad but also the up and coming players  and the ones we think have the potential to really fight for positions on the team. For me, this period is really about observation and evaluation of some players who I know very well, some I’ve seen play only a bit and some who I will be seeing in a competitive environment for the first time.”

Abby WambachAlex Morgan

Forwards Abby Wambauch, (pictured above left), the 2012 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, and Alex Morgan, (pictured above right) the 2012 US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, are coming off a stellar year in which they combined to net 55 goals in the calendar year. The training camp also sees the return of defender Ali Kreiger for the first time since she suffered a serious knee injury in the Olympic Qualifying tournament.

There are also call ups for several players battling to make the roster and who have recently been playing in Europe. Midfielder Yael Averbuch (FC Goteborg – Sweden), defender Whitney Engen (Liverpool – England), goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (FCR Duisburg – Germany), midfielder Keelin Winters (FCC Turbine Potsdam – Germany) and Christen Press (FC Goteborg) all have the chance to impress.

Hope Solo & Nigel Worrall

Also joining them, and perhaps in the squad for the experience and with a mind to the future are Crystal Dunn from the University of North Carolina, Julie Johnson from Santa Clara University,  Kristie Mewis of FC Kansas City and 17 year old goalkeeper Jane Campbell who is still in High School. Campbell, in being named to this squad, becomes the youngest goalkeeper named to the National Squad since an 18 year old Hope Solo (pictured above with yours truly) participated in her first training camp in 1999. And, talking of Solo, she won’t be playing in Jacksonville as she is currently nursing an injury but hopes to be back soon. (See my video interview with her below.)

The game against Scotland kicks off at 5pm and 18 players will be named from the 29 player training camp roster. The players then head to Nashville, Tennessee for a return match with Scotland on 13th February.

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