Pia Sundhage, the lesbian coach of the US women’s soccer team, announced yesterday (1 September) she is leaving her job and returning to her native Sweden.
‘I want to thank all the players and all of my assistant coaches for making me better,’ Sundhage said in a statement, as reported by the blog Outsports. ‘Before I took this job, I always admired the spirit and character of the U.S. team, but to experience that first-hand on the training field and from the bench as their coach was truly special and something I will treasure for the rest of my life.’
Under Sundhage’s guidance, she started in 2007, the team has had great success. Two Olympic gold, including the most recent London Games, and a spot in the finals of the 2011 World Cup (Japan won that match in a shootout). The US team’s overall record over the past five years is 88-6-10.
The 52-year-old will remain as coach for the next two games. The New York Times is reporting the Swedish soccer association is announcing she will start as head coach of the national team on 1 December.