The Orlando Pride announced at noon today that they’ve parted ways with Head Coach Tom Sermanni. The Scottish boss joined the team for its inaugural season in 2016, leading the team to the postseason in 2017. But expectations were high after the additions of Sydney Leroux, Australian international Emily van Egmond, and Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky this past off-season and the team struggled down the stretch, finishing seventh out of nine teams in 2018.
“I want to thank Tom for all that he has done for the club and community and for helping to build Orlando Pride over these first three seasons,” Orlando City and Pride General Manager Niki 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.”
In his three seasons leading the Pride, Sermanni accumulated a 25-30-14 record (regular season and playoffs). In 2017, he led the Pride to its first playoff appearance where they lost to the Portland Thorns, 4-1. That prompted the club to extend Sermanni’s contract last October.
“It’s been a great honor to be the inaugural coach of Orlando Pride and to be a part of this wonderful organization,” Sermanni said about the decision. I’d like to thank all of our players, staff, fans, and community for their tremendous support throughout my time here. 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.”
The Pride went 6-13-1 in their expansion season of 2016, starting off well, but losing players to Olympic duty mid-season and tumbling down the table. The 2017 season saw the arrival of Marta and the club really took off following Alex Morgan’s return from Lyon, finishing 11-6-7 in the regular season. The Pride finished 8-10-6 this year, but stayed above the playoff line much of the year until a late swoon that saw the club go 0-4-2 in its last six matches.
While the club stated that it was a “mutually agreed” decision to part ways with the only head coach the team has known, this decision appears to be results driven.
“Our goal for the Pride remains to field a playoff team that will bring an NWSL championship to our community and supporters,” Budalic commented. The club says that the search for its new head coach will begin immediately.