Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride agree to part ways

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TALLAHASSEE, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Head Coach Tom Sermanni of the Orlando Pride talk with players after their pre-season match against the Florida State Seminoles at the Seminole Soccer Complex on the campus of Florida State University on February 28, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. FSU defeated the Pride 3 to 2. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Florida (Sept. 14, 2018) — The Orlando Pride are heading into a different direction after failing to make the playoffs this season.

On Friday, the club announced that Tom Sermanni and the team have mutually parted ways. Orlando finished the 2018 season in seventh place, falling down the NWSL standings and out of playoff position.

Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride agree to part ways

To make matters worse, Orlando gave Sky Blue FC its first victory of season in the final regular-season match. Despite having a roster with loaded talent like Marta, Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Sydney Leroux and Camila, the Pride couldn’t come together as a team.

In a press release, Niki Budalic, Orlando City SC general manager, said that the Pride remains to “field a playoff team that will bring an NWSL Championship to our community and supporters.”

“I want to thank Tom for all that he has done for the club, the community and for helping to build Orlando Pride over these first three seasons,” Budalic said. “He will forever be a part of the Orlando Pride family. We want to extend the best wishes to Tom in the next steps of his career.”

Sermanni is the first coach in the club’s history. The Orlando Pride joined the NWSL in 2016 as an expansion club. In the club’s first season, Orlando placed ninth out of 10 teams. The next year, Orlando made it to the playoffs, finishing in third place, but could not make the final match.

Sermanni, in a press release, said that it was a “great honor” to be the inaugural coach for Orlando and be “a part of this wonderful organization.”

“I’d like to thank all of our players, staff, fans and community for their tremendous support throughout my time here,” Sermanni said. “I want to wish the team and the organization great success moving forward. I look forward to being an avid supporter and following the club’s fortunes.”

Sermanni began his coaching career back in 1988 with Canberra FC in Australia. After 14 years in Australia — and two years in Japan — Sermanni ventured to the United States, joining the New York Power staff.

He then returned overseas for 10 years. In 2013, he became the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. He remained in the position until 2014, when he then joined the Canadian Women’s National Team as an assistant.

The Pride have announced that a search for an new head coach will begin immediately.

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