In London, the former Sweden international guided the USA team to more Olympic success, four years after their gold medal in Beijing. Having also led the Americans to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, Pia Sundhage is one of the leading coaches in the women’s game. She has now decided to give the Swedish national team the benefit of her experience as coach.
Few CV’s in the women’s game can match that of Sundhage. Aside from a brief stint in Italy, Sundhage played for nearly two decades in the Swedish league in an era when the Damallsvenskan could arguably claim to be the best in the world. Four league titles and four Swedish cups was just part of the success story for a player who featured in virtually every outfield position in her career. However, it is her international achievements for which Sundhage is most renowned, having amassed 146 caps and a then national record of 71 goals in a 22-year career for Sweden.
With a decade of coaching experience in her native Sweden, Sundhage assumed the reins of Boston Breakers in USA, winning the league title in her first year stateside, duly being named 2003 WUSA Coach of the Year. After working as an assistant to compatriot Marika Domanski Lyfors with China PR at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the affable Sundhage landed the role of national team coach with world No1 ranked nation USA at the end of 2007. Success was almost immediate, with USA claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.