Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe each scored Sunday in Commerce City, Colo., to lead the U.S. women to a 2-0 victory over China PR in the first of two international friendlies.
But at the end of the match, the U.S. team found itself without its coach.
U.S. Soccer announced after the victory that it had fired coach Tom Sermanni. It was surprising news since he had joined the team just 16 months ago.
The team has another friendly against China Thursday in San Diego, and U.S. Soccer Director of Development Jill Ellis will serve as interim coach.
“We want to thank Tom for his service over the past year and half, but we felt that we needed to go in a different direction at this time,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “We will begin looking for a new coach immediately to guide our Women's National Team toward qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.”
“I'm disappointed that things didn't work out, but I'd like to thank U.S. Soccer for the opportunity to have coached this team and also the staff and players for all their hard work,” Sermanni added in the same statement.
Ellis previously served as interim head coach for seven matches at the end of 2012, going 5-0-2.
As for on-the-field action, the U.S. women were strong against China, dominating the first half with a 15-0 lead in shots and a 7-0 lead in shots on goal. Jill Loyden replaced Hope Solo as goalkeeper for the second half and made one save.
Maggie Nichols earned the all-around bronze medal at the FIG World Cup All-Around Series stop in Tokyo this past weekend, and Elizabeth Price claimed the season title without even making the trip.
Price produced a series-leading 145 points by winning in Greensboro, N.C. and Stuttgart, Germany, and taking second in Glasgow, Scotland. The Tokyo event was the last stop in the series.
Nichols earned an all-around total of 56.432 with scores of 15.100, vault; 13.066, uneven bars; 13.966, balance beam; and 14.300, floor exercise.
Meanwhile, in rhythmic gymnastics, Jazzy Kerber finished 12th in the all-around Friday in Lisbon, Portugal, and advanced to the finals in two events at the world cup for the first time ever for an American. Kerber placed seventh in the hoop finals and eighth in the clubs finals at the FIG World Cup event Sunday.
Also in Lisbon, U.S. junior rhythmic all-around champion Laura Zeng and Camilla Feeley earned the team bronze of the Lisbon International Tournament. Zeng then took the ball silver and hoop bronze medals Sunday. She also finished fifth in ribbon.
Makenzie Brown won the women’s recurve combined gold medal and was part of the women’s recurve team bronze medal at the Arizona Cup in Phoenix. Five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig and Ariel Gibilaro joined Brown for the women’s recurve team bronze medal. Jennifer Hardy claimed the individual bronze.
After four days of competition, there are still para archery events to be completed Monday.
Brady Ellison, a two-time Olympian who hails from Arizona, won the individual gold medal in the recurve combined men’s event. Jake Kaminski, Collin Klimitcheck and Jeremiah Cusick won the men’s recurve team gold medal, and Cusick also won an individual bronze medal in the recurve combined men’s event.
For the recurve men, Ellison had the comeback of the event, showing that home-court advantage matters. Facing a tough opponent in Italy’s Luca Melotto, Ellison started out with a 0-2 deficit that quickly turned into a 1-5 match. Fighting his way back, Ellison won the fourth set outright, then forced a 5-5 tie which he won in a one-arrow shoot-off.
Eric Bennett, Matt Stutzman and Jeff Sena earned the men’s compound team silver medal. Erika Jones, Jamie Van Natta and Sarah Lance produced the women’s compound team gold medal.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling teammates Carlos Alzate and Coryn Rivera repeated as champions of the men’s and women’s pro races Saturday at the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Ala.
This is the first time in the 10-year history of the Sunny King Criterium that the same team swept the pro races.
Rivera won for Marian University last season.
Elsewhere, Justin Posey and Felicia Stancil won the men’s and women’s titles while helping Marian University to the team title Saturday at the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX National Championship in DeSoto, Texas.
TRACK & FIELD
Olympian Janet Bawcom set an American record while winning her fourth consecutive USA 10-Mile Championship with a time of 52:12 in Washington, D.C.
Bawcom, who won three USA National Road Racing Championships events in both 2012 and 2013, had finished second in the USA 15-Kilometer Championship in March. She won by 42 seconds.
Sara Hall took a commanding lead early and finished second, 1:36 ahead of third place.
Christo Landry won the men’s race by 41 seconds over runner-up Girma Mecheso.
Elsewhere, Hayley Showalter won the women’s hammer throw Friday and the discus Saturday at the U.S. Area Youth Olympic Selection Trials inn Miramar, Fla.
Athletes ages 15-17 competed among those from 10 countries for spots on the team heading to the Youth Olympic Games Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China.
2012 Olympian Sarah Groff was the top U.S. women’s finisher in fifth and Gwen Jorgensen, who also competed in London, placed 12th in the women’s race Saturday when the ITU World Triathlon Series opened in Auckland, New Zealand. Joe Maloy, in 29th, was the top U.S. men’s finisher Sunday.
Elsewhere, the University of Colorado won its fifth consecutive overall team title and also claimed the men’s team title at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship Friday and Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.
UCLA won the women’s team title and California won the mixed team relay.
Rudy Von Berg of Colorado and Liz Noey of UCLA won the Olympic-distance individual titles.
The Women’s Eagles Sevens routed Brazil, 31-0, Saturday to close an otherwise disappointing IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Guangzhao, China.
The United States lost its first four matches, then beat Brazil to finish 11th.
Elena Meyers, a silver medalist in the bobsled in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, joined the team for this tournament and played for the Women’s Eagles throughout the weekend. She started against Brazil. Shaina Turley had two tries in the win.
The United States lost in pool play, 35-7 to Canada Friday, then 19-10 to Russia and 14-12 to France Saturday. China defeated the United States, 17-7, Sunday in the Bowl Semifinal.
Christine Jennings was the top U.S. women’s finisher in the FINA 10K Marathon World Cup in Cancun, Mexico. Eva Fabian was 10th, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson 13th and Tristan Baxter 14th.
Yoelvis Pedraza led the U.S. men, finishing eighth. Charles Peterson was 11th. Olympian Alex Meyer placed 21st.
Margaux Isaksen finished fourth Friday to lead the U.S. women in the second world cup stop in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
The United States is off to a strong start at the Junior and Cadet World Championships, which will continue through April 12 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Sabrina Massialas lasted through overtime rounds and made the comebacks necessary to earn her second consecutive Cadet foil silver medal.
Massialas and Karol Metryka, who claimed the bronze medal in men’s Cadet saber in his world team debut, were the first two medal winners Friday.
The United States added three more medals during the weekend.
George Haglund, in Cadet men’s foil Sunday, and Justin Yoo, in Cadet men’s epée Saturday, added silver medals.
Kasia Nixon claimed bronze in Cadet women’s epée Saturday.
The Haydenettes finished seventh and the Crystallettes were 11th at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships over the weekend in Courmayeur, Italy.
The Haydenettes, who had earned bronze medals at the previous four world championships, were fifth after the short program. They were part of a field of 23 teams from 18 countries.
Darren Barnes won a gold medal and two silver medals in the 56-kilogram class Wednesday while Darrel Barnes earned three silver medals the same day at the Junior Pan American Championships in Reno, Nev.
Mattie Rogers (63 kilograms) and Victoria Gillooly (58 kilograms) each earned a pair of women’s bronze medals Friday.
The University of California men and University of Southern California women won the co-features of the Crew Classic, which was held this past weekend in San Diego.
Cal won the Copley Cup men’s elite eights by three boat lengths. It was the second straight and 13th win overall for the Golden Bears in the event.
USC won its fourth straight Jessop-Whittier Cup for the women’s elite eights.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Tom Robinson is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org.