At the end of the regular season, many had a feeling that Tom Sermanni's time in Orlando may be up due to their poor season and today, the Orlando Pride confirmed that they will be looking for a new head coach as they and Sermanni have mutually parted ways.
The decision seems to be one that both parties agree with
In the official statement released by the Pride, Orlando City SC GM Niki Budalic stated that the organization were grateful for all the work he had done for the club, the community and over the last three season. Budalic also stated that Sermanni will "forever be a part of the Orlando Pride family" and they all wished him the best in the "next steps of his career". Budalic also alluded that bringing a NWSL Championship to Orlando was the goal for the organization and as Sermanni had failed to accomplish that this season, the club had decided to go in a different direction.
Tom Sermanni also released a statement with the club and mentioned that it had been a "great honor" to have been the first head coach for the Orlando Pride. Sermanni also thanked the players, staff and fans for their support and extended his well wishes to the club going forward. He finished the statement by saying that he looked forward to "being an avid supporter" and following Orlando's fortunes in the future.
Missing the playoffs seemed to signal the end of the road for Sermanni
Tom Sermanni was named Orlando's first ever head coach in 2015 and coached the club for three seasons in the National Women's Soccer League. In those three seasons, Sermanni led the team to one playoff appearance where they lost out to Portland Thorns FC in the semi-final last year. During his tenure, Sermanni won 25 matches, drew 30 and lost 13.
Unfortunately for the Scot, this season's performance led to the end of his reign at Orlando. The Pride finished in seventh, a far cry from any of their previous seasons and what made it worse was the manner they ended the season in. The Pride's last win came on July 14th and since then, the Pride went on a six-match run that saw them lose five of those six games and left them out of playoff contention. The spiralling finish to their season was probably the final nail in the coffin for Tom Sermanni and has led to this decision.
Their poor performance can be blamed on the head coach as it is their job to insure that the team performs to the best of their ability but with Orlando, there seems to be deeper issues. The new head coach, whoever that may be, will be forced to make significant changes to the roster, especially in defense and they may not have the resources to do so in a timely manner. Until then, both Sermanni and the Orlando Pride will consider all of their options before making the move towards their new individual chapters.
Quotes via OrlandoCitySC.com