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Sweden's Sundhage to continue as US women's football coach

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Sweden's Sundhage to continue as US women's football coach
06:40 CET+01:00
Former Swedish women's football star Pia Sundhage, who led the US women's side to Olympic gold at Beijing, has been asked to stay on as coach through the 2012 Olympics.

Sundhage was hired to replace Greg Ryan in November of last year after a disappointing third-place finish by the US women at the 2007 Women's World Cup in China.

In 2008, Sundhage has guided the Americans to a mark of 32-1 with two drawn including a gold-medal victory over Brazil in the Olympic final. The US women suffered their only loss of 2008 in their Olympic opener but rallied for gold.

"Pia has demonstrated the qualities of a great leader, a great soccer tactician and she is a winner," US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said as he announced the news on Monday.

"We are extremely happy to have her on board for the next cycle of the Women's World Cup and the Olympics."

Sundhage, 48, scored 71 goals in 146 caps for Sweden in a 22-year national team career that began in 1975 at age 15 but the US job was her first as a coach.

"We've done so many things in a short amount of time and been successful so far," Sundhage said. "The reason it is so exciting to continue with this team is that I can see the potential.

"We've done a pretty good job so far, but these next steps will be about going into the attacking third and being even more unpredictable, playing more beautiful soccer and scoring more goals. With this team spirit, the American culture, and the American way, we can make that happen in the coming years."

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