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Sundhage had also begun changing the Americans’ style of play. As the game evolves and improves around the world, relying on the advantages it has in size, speed and power is no longer enough for the U.S. Sundhage introduced a Barcelona-style attack that relied on creativity and ball possession, and Sermanni will have to decide whether to continue that or not.

“U.S. Soccer has always been at the forefront of supporting the women’s game, and it’s exciting to coach the team in this next chapter of its history,” Sermanni said. “After coaching against many of these players for years, I am looking forward to working with an accomplished group of veterans while integrating the numerous talented young players who are itching for a chance to prove themselves.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to work with tremendous players and in a program that has had such a tradition of success,” he added.

Sermanni does not take over officially until Jan. 1, and will coach Australia in the East Asian Cup Qualification tournament from Nov. 20-24 in Shenzen, China. Interim coach Jill Ellis will lead the Americans in exhibitions against Ireland on Nov. 28 in Portland, Ore., and on Dec. 1 in Glendale, Ariz., as well as three games that have yet to be announced.

A midfielder, Sermanni played professionally from 1971-89 at clubs in Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand, including Blackpool and Torquay, and scored more than 50 goals. He got into coaching soon after, and has had stints as both a men’s and women’s coach in Japan, the U.S. and Malaysia, in addition to Australia.