Wednesday marks the end to an historic era in U.S. Women’s National Team history. Former Boston Breakers Head Coach, and current U.S. Head Coach, Pia Sundhage, will make her final appearance on the U.S. bench.
Wednesday marks the end to an historic era in U.S. Women’s National Team history. Former Boston Breakers Head Coach, and current U.S. Head Coach, Pia Sundhage, will make her final appearance on the U.S. bench. Sundhage, who announced on Sept. 1 that she was stepping down from her position as the U.S. coach, will soon head to Sweden to take over as the head coach of her home country’s national team.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Pia Sundhage in her Breaker days (ISI Photos)
The U.S. takes on Australia Wednesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., at 10 p.m. ET. The match will air live on ESPN2. Sundhage has a record of 90-6-10 with the U.S. during her four-year career with the team. She’s led the U.S. to two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012), a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and has won three championships at the Algarve Cup (2008, 2010, and 2011).
With the Breakers in 2003, Sundhage led the team to the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) regular season title, compiling a 10-4-7 record. She earned coach of the year honors for her efforts. With Boston, Sundhage coached current Breakers assistant coach and former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kristine Lilly. The two were reunited in Sweden in 2004 when Sundhage coached Lilly for KIF Örebro in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan.
Wednesday also has significant meaning for Australia as former Breaker Sarah Walsh, who was with Boston in 2010 but sidelined with an injury, will play her last game as a member of the "Matildas." Walsh currently leads this current Australia roster in scoring with 39 goals. She has 70 caps. The 29-year-old has been a member of the Matilidas squad since 2004, making appearances in the 2004 Olympics and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Heather O’Reilly (Photo by Meg Linehan)
Two members of the 2012 WPSL Elite regular season champion Boston Breakers will represent their respective countries Wednesday night in Colorado. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly, who had two assists in two appearances for Boston this past season, will look to earn her 174th cap Wednesday. She assisted on Alex Morgan’s game-tying goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Australia at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. O’Reilly has five goals and 10 assists in 21 games this year for the U.S.
Kyah Simon (Photo by Meg Linehan)
Australian Kyah Simon, who finished second in WPSL Elite with 12 goals in 13 games this summer, has 32 caps for the Matildas. The 21-year-old striker came on in the second half of Sunday’s game against the U.S. Simon scored one goal in a 4-0 win last week over Haiti in a match played in Indiana.
Amy LePeilbet is one of seven Breakers (past or present) on the U.S. roster (Photo by DSPics.com)
Etc … The U.S. roster for Wednesday’s match against Australia features 18 players, and seven of those 18 have played for the Breakers: Rachel Buehler (2011), Lauren Cheney (2010, 2011), Amy LePeilbet (2009-2011), Heather Mitts (2009), Kelley O’Hara (2011), Heather O’Reilly (2012), and Amy Rodriguez (2009) … The U.S. will continue its Fan Tribute Tour in late October, taking on Germany twice, first at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (Oct. 20) and then at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. (Oct. 23).