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Former Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni picked to lead New Zealand women’s national team

Orlando head coach Tom Sermanni waves to fans during the Chicago Red Stars at Orlando Pride NWSL soccer game at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, August 25, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

It looks like the right job came along quickly for former Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni. 

Sermanni, who mutually agreed to part ways with the Pride after a tough 2018 season, on Thursday was named head coach of New Zealand’s women’s national team. He’ll be the team’s coach at least until the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Sermanni will be tasked with guiding the Football Ferns through the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, which serves as a qualifier for the Women’s World Cup in France, as well as the qualifier to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. 

“Tom comes to New Zealand with an incredible amount of experience and we are pleased to have a coach of his caliber leading the Ferns as they look to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and compete with the best teams in the world,” said New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andrew Pragnell in a statement released on the New Zealand Football website. 

“We completed a rigorous recruitment process and Tom presented a great plan and vision for the Football Ferns. We believe he will do a great job in developing the Ferns over the next nine months and we look forward to seeing what the Ferns can achieve in this period. It has obviously been a challenging period for the Football Ferns, but following the release of the Independent Review we are looking forward.”

Sermanni, 64, ended his tenure with the Pride with a 25-30-13 record. During an interview with Pro Soccer USA after he and the Pride parted ways, he said he wasn’t going to chase a new job and that he’d only return to coaching if the right offer came his way. 

“If there’s nothing that appeals to me, I will quite happily ride off into the sunset of retirement,” he said at the time.

Sermanni previously coached the United States and Australian women’s national teams.

The OFC Women’s Nations Cup runs from Nov. 18 until Dec. 1. 

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