18) Pia Sundhage, Part I - ex Sweden & U.S. National Team Coach, FIFA World Coach of the Year 2013
Pia Sundhage is a world-renowned coach and former professional player. Most recently she was the National Team coach for Sweden from 2012 to July 2017 who she lead to an Olympic silver medal in 2016. Prior to that she was the US National Team coach from 2007 to 2012, winning consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, and as a result, earning the FIFA World Coach of the Year Award in 2013. Join us as we discuss her journey and go in-depth on her life and career, from a small-town beginning in Marbäck, Sweden, to becoming one of the most accomplished coaches in the world. A pioneer in the women’s game, she made her National Team debut at 15-years old and has remained at the elite level ever since. When she was a young girl, the only girl in town playing soccer, her coach changed her name to “Pelle”, a boy’s name, so she would be allowed to play on a "real" team. We discuss leadership, coaching styles in different cultures, her reaction when she was approached to coach the best team in the world at the time, the U.S. National Team, and how it came full-circle when asked to be the coach of the Swedish National team in 2012, fulfilling her life-long dream.
Playing • 146 Caps & 71 goals with Sweden National Team • 4 times Damallsvenskan champ, top Swedish league • 4 Swedish Cup titles • Euro 1984 gold • World Cup bronze, 1991 • 6th place in the voting for FIFA Women’s Player of the Century, 2000
Coaching • China National Team Assistant Coach, 2007 • USA National Team Coach, 2007-2012 • Sweden National Team Coach, 2012-2017 • 2 Olympic golds with USA, 2008 & 2012 • Olympic silver with Sweden, 2016 • World Cup silver with USA, 2011 • Euro 2013 bronze with Sweden • FIFA World Coach of the Year, 2012