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April 6, 2014 at 7:25 PM

U.S. Soccer fires women’s national team coach Tom Sermanni

In news no one saw coming, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Sunday night it has fired women’s national team coach Tom Sermanni. The USWNT just earlier in the day had beaten China, 2-0.

U.S. Soccer director of development Jill Ellis will serve as interim head coach, starting with Thursday’s second game with China.

Ellis held that role in 2012, as well, going 5-0-2 before Sermanni was hired to replace Pia Sundhage.

Update: SI.com, FOX Soccer and Soccer By Ives talked to Sermanni.

Here are some quotes from the release:

“We want to thank Tom for his service over the past year and half, but we felt that we needed to go in a different direction at this time. We will begin looking for a new coach immediately to guide our Women’s National Team toward qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.” — Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president

“I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out, but I’d like to thank U.S. Soccer for the opportunity to have coached this team and also the staff and players for all their hard work.” — Sermanni

The USWNT was 18-2-4 under Sermanni, with the two losses coming in this year’s Algarve Cup.

In other notes from Sunday’s win, Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe netted the second goal off the bench, while Hope Solo played the first half of the shutout and forward Sydney Leroux played all 90 minutes. Seattle’s Stephanie Cox was unused off the bench.

The USWNT, whose other goal came from Lauren Holiday, held a 23-1 shot advantage.

| More in USWNT

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