Every soccer girl dreams of getting a call up to the full women’s national team to play alongside legends Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach, Shannon Box, and Hope Solo. Now the opportunity seems not far out of reach for many rising college and NWSL stars. New women’s national team coach, Tom Sermanni, is giving younger players a chance.
Historically, the women’s national team has consisted of a core group of veteran players who have meshed together over the years into a team that some believe to be unbreakable. Their elite fitness, camaraderie, and veteran experience have established them as the best team in the world. Veterans cannot remain veterans forever though. Shannon Box, a three-time World Cup veteran and three-time Olympic gold medalist, is on maternity leave, but homes to return soon. Center back, Christie Rampone, is still with the squad after giving birth to three children. She has made 287 career appearances with the national team becoming the most active capped player in the world.
These two players are notably the glue that keeps this team together. But as their time remaining on this team begins to narrow, new players must start to make their way into the system to avoid lapses in certain positions.
The recent change in USA coaching staff has made for some angry fans that cannot quite understand a coach tampering with a veteran system. New players are constantly getting an opportunity in international friendlies and camps. Ten players have earned their first international cap this year under the new coach. Included in this list of ten are Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich FC- UNC), Morgan Brian (UVA), Crystal Dunn (UNC), Ashlyn Harris (UNC), Lindsey Horan (PSG France), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Kristie Mewis (Seattle Reign- Boston College), Christine Press (Tyreso Sweden), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), and Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City- UF). All I have to say is: GOODBYE OLD LADIES CLUB.
Meet the future:
Coach Sermanii has put a silence to questioning fans about his latest decisions in an interview with Equalizer Soccer:
“We’ve got a very successful national team, and we’ve got very good players and a very strong squad,” Sermanni said. “So, I’m not in a situation where I’m coming into a job and saying, ‘I need to fill in players here; I need to find players.’ So, I’ve not actively gone out there and said, ‘I need to find players for this team.’
I have not heard many more squeals from those angry fans from earlier in the year. The so-called “tampering” Sermanni did with the squad has led the US Women’s National Team to an undefeated 2013 campaign (13-0-3). The biggest decision he will face will come as World Cup qualifying approaches. How much wiggle room will he have to bring younger and inexperienced players onto the 21-player roster? How much should Sermanni focus on building for the future?