Last week, the newly formed NWSL team, Orlando Pride announced the hiring of Tom Sermanni as their Head Coach. Sermanni previously coached the Australian Women’s National Team and the United States Women’s National Team during his nearly thirty year career.
Orlando City Soccer Club general manager, Paul McDonough, who will also serve as the GM for Orlando Pride, was tasked with finding a head coach that would meet the criteria needed to continue a winning tradition of soccer in Central Florida. The first name that came to his mind was Sermanni.
“He has a lot of experience, and is a really good guy,” expressed McDonough. “He knows many players in the national pool and he also spent time in with Canada [Women’s National Team]. Knowing the United States and Canada markets is really important. His overall experience is really important to us.”
Sermanni understands that the Orlando City organization sets high expectations for their teams, and winning is key. “It is really important to me create a positive team culture,” stated a passionate Sermanni. The Scottish coach believes in creating a positive culture where players enjoy playing for the team. “I am a great believer of getting the very best of players individually and collectively. At the same time, I like to go to the other extreme and test players to get the most out of them. To do that, you have to play a positive style of football. That has always been my philosophy.”
According to Sermanni, in order to win games, the players and coaches must all have a positive mindset on a day to day basis. If everyone in the organization is focused and positive, bringing a winning environment is much more realistic.
“Players enjoy going to win games rather than going out with a negative mindset of trying not to lose games. My philosophy is very much about winning games. By doing that you have to have a really good team culture. You need to push players to the limits of their ability, and that’s what we hope to do here. I also believe that is in line with the club. This is a very positive, vibrant, and progressive club. You want to take those characteristics of the organization and bring it to the pitch.”
“He has a great track record,” expressed Orlando City Soccer Club Founder and President, Phil Rawlins. “He is great at not only winning games, but his experience at the international level is key. He is also a developer which makes him the right man for this job. He passionately believes as we do in bringing up young players…we have an elite academy program with our girls. We would like to see those girls come up through our ECNL program.”
The Pride are set to begin play in April 2016, and will continue building it's team in the coming weeks following Monday's addition of Alex Morgan, Kaylyn Kyle and Sarah Hagen. The newly formed team will help continue the growth making Orlando the most dominant soccer market in the south.