Australian women's national football team head coach TOM SERMANNI has been hired as the head coach of the U.S. women's national football team, according to Nicholas Rosano of MLSSOCCER.com. The Matildas coach will replace PIA SUNDHAGE, "who resigned earlier this year after leading the U.S. team" to two Olympic Gold Medals and second place in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. Sermanni was chosen out of 30 candidates by a search committee led by U.S. Soccer Federation President SUNIL GULATI and included other U.S. Soccer officials, as well as former women's players MIA HAMM and DANIELLE SLATON. Sermanni's role will become effective Jan. 1, and U.S. Soccer women's Development Dir JILL ELLIS "will take charge of the remaining five" women's games in '12 (MLSSOCCER.com, 10/30). In Sydney, Ray Gatt wrote Australian football "has been rocked" by Sermanni's resignation. Sermanni coached the Matildas for eight years, "helping produce some outstanding talent, as well as guiding the side to an historic win in the Asian Cup finals in '10." He was named Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year in '07. Sermanni said that it "was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make." Sermanni: "In football, and in life, it's all about timing, and with Australian women's football quite settled at the moment, with the national teams and the Westfield W-League, the timing of this challenge to coach the number one women's football team in the world was at the right time for me to accept" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/31).
People and Pop Culture
Former Aviva Premiership Sale Sharks Dir of Rugby BRYAN REDPATH has "accepted the position of head coach" of the club. Redpath was considering an offer to become the backs coach Tuesday after "being removed from his more powerful position following a dreadful start" to the Premiership season. Redpath appears to have "negotiated a less dramatic move and will be expected to be involved with the team" on Friday when it faces London Irish at Salford City Stadium. Redpath has been replaced as director of rugby by former Sale Sharks CEO STEVE DIAMOND (LONDON TIMES, 10/31). ... German football legend FRANZ BECKENBAUER "has been reassigned inside FIFA." Beckenbauer, who was in charge of Task Force 2014, "will join FIFA's Standing Football Committee." The committee deals with general issues in football but primarily with its structure as well as relations between clubs, leagues, members, confederations and FIFA (SPIEGEL.de, 10/30).
BERG TO BLACKBURN: Former Blackburn defender HENNING BERG is set to sign a three-year deal to become the club's new manager." The imminent arrival of the 43-year-old, "who has six years of managerial experience in his native Norway," ends the search for STEVE KEAN's successor. Berg, who is expected to be introduced on Thursday, will take charge with Blackburn fifth in the Championship (BBC.com, 10/31). The PA reported the Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 Sporten claimed that Berg was offered the Ewood Park post following a successful interview on Monday. Norwegian Aalesunds FK coach KJETIL REKDAL told TV 2 Sporten that "he expects his former Norway teammate to be a success and welcomed the news as a boost to Norwegian football, with STALE SOLBAKKEN already employed" at EPL side Wolverhampton Wanderers (PA, 10/31).
MANAGERS: Brasileiro B club América-MG has fired Coach MAURO FERNANDES after the team's home loss to ASA (GAZETA, 10/31)
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Swiss IndyCar driver SIMONA DE SILVESTRO "signed a one-year deal with the KV Racing Technology team for the '13 season" (BLICK.ch, 10/30). ... German Davis Cup Team captain PATRIK KÜHNEN will resign at the end of the year. Kühnen said, "I got the feeling over the last couple of weeks that I don't have necessary support and backing from the German Tennis Federation (DTB). Therefore, I don't see the necessary foundation of trust that would allow me to continue my work. I have decided to end talks with the DTB about a continuation of my duty" (BILD, 10/31). ... NHL player WAYNE SIMMONDS, who currently plays for Czech Extraliga club Bílí Tygři Liberec, "had to endure racist chants" during the club's game at Piráti Chomutov. The fans ridiculed him as "opice," which means monkey. The Czech Ice Hockey Association "fined the club €1,200 ($1,600) for its fans' behavior" (SID, 10/30). ... Tennis world No. 5 DAVID FERRER said that if it was up to him LIONEL MESSI would win FIFA's Ballon d'Or award. Ferrer said, "I would vote for Messi for the Ballon d'Or. To me he is the best in the world" (EFE, 10/31). ... Olympic Council of Asia President & Association of the National Olympic Committees SHEIKH AHMAD AL-FAHAD AL-SABAH met with Russia Parliament Chair SERGEY NARYSHKIN "to discuss national and int'l sports issues" (KUNA, 10/31).
UNDONE DEAL: Former NBA player GILBERT ARENAS' contract to play for Chinese Basketball Association team Guangdong Southern Tigers "is falling apart." Guangdong and Arenas have had "disagreements over a payment schedule, and the organization has started to have increasing questions over Arenas' fitness" (YAHOO! SPORTS, 10/30). ... Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport reported Ligue 1 club Paris St. Germain is "ready to shell out" €100M ($130M) for Real Madrid striker CRISTIANO RONALDO and bring Manager JOSE MOURINHO at the same time (AFP, 10/31). ... British time trial champion ALEX DOWSETT has become the latest member to leave Team Sky Procycling. Dowsett joined the Spanish team Movistar in a move that follows the departures of Sporting Dir STEVEN DE JONGH and race Coach BOBBY JULICH (ROADCYCLING.com, 10/30). ... Russia men's basketball coach DAVID BLATT has quit after guiding them to the Olympic Bronze Medal in London. The 53-year-old has coached Russia for the past seven years, leading the team to the '07 European title, the country's first major championship since '85 (REUTERS, 10/31).
LONDON OLYMPIANS: The IOC has "signed off on an Olympic medal certificate" for South Korean footballer PARK JONG-WOO, who was banned from receiving his medal following his controversial post-match celebration at the London Games (YONHAP, 10/31). ... Olympic Gold Medalist MICHAEL PHELPS "gave swimming lessons" to 20 kids and teenagers in the Olympic Center of the Alemão Complex in Rio de Janeiro (GLOBO, 10/31). ... Great Britain's ITV1 is "hoping to make a splash" with a new TV reality show in which celebrities learn how to dive under the coaching of Olympic bronze medalist TOM DALEY (London GUARDIAN, 10/31).
SWITCHING SEATS: The Sauber F1 Team "has signed Force India driver NICO HÜLKENBERG to replace current driver SERGIO PÉREZ who will leave the team after the season." The 25-year-old German "made his F1 debut in '10 and has scored 71 points in 36 races" (NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, 10/31). Sauber F1 Team Principal MONISHA KALTENBORN said, "We've been observing Nico for some time now, and his performances have been very persuasive. He clearly showed he can seize the chance if it arises. But high spots like that are one thing; systematic teamwork is another, and on that score I have confidence in Nico too" (PA, 10/31).
FOOTBALL RULERS: A new book by former LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE revealed FIFA President SEPP BLATER thought English football "was run by idiots," which was a reason England failed to win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup. Coe said that his instincts were that Blatter "always wanted to take the World Cup to Russia, which is what transpired." However, he also said that people who believed Blatter wanted that outcome because he hated England "were wrong." Coe wrote, "He doesn't. He's Swiss and like a lot of Swiss, he's rather fond of England" (REUTERS, 10/31). ... Recently appointed Croatian Football Federation (HNS) President DAVOR ŠUKER visited the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland. The former Croatia national-team striker, who was elected HNS president in July, met UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI and held discussions with senior UEFA representatives on developments within Croatian football and on UEFA's help to the HNS under its assistance programs (UEFA).
BBC tennis reporter JONATHAN OVEREND: "True to form, Djokovic has a Paris Halloween surprise and walks onto court wearing a Darth Vadar mask."
SPEED channel's F1 reporter WILL BUXTON: "Landed in Dubai to confirmation Hulkenberg is Sauber bound. EPIC SHOCK. Or not. Good move for driver and team. Expect Esteban as team mate."
Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President DMITRY CHERNYSHENKO: "For the first time @peaceandsport forum is to be held not outside Monaco, in #Sochi. This is a huge honor for the city"
Daily Mirror's OLIVER HOLT: "When it comes to managers, English football worships at the altar of a stagnant pool."
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