UEFA Women's EURO 2013 hosts Sweden have appointed former player Pia Sundhage as coach after she left the helm of the United States following their second straight Olympic gold.
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Pia Sundhage will coach UEFA Women's EURO 2013 hosts Sweden after stepping down from the helm of the United States.
Sundhage announced her departure from the US earlier on Saturday weeks after leading them to the second Olympic gold of her five-year reign. She will succeed Thomas Dennerby on 1 December on a contract until the end of 2016.
"We're incredibly happy to announce Pia Sundhage as our new national coach," said Swedish Football Association (SvFF) president Karl-Erik Nilsson, while Sundhage herself said: "For a long time I've dreamt of being coach of Sweden and now I'm so happy."
During an international career stretching from 1975 until 1996, Pia Sundhage won 146 caps for Sweden, scoring 71 goals, notably aiding them to victory in the inaugual European tournament of 1984, still their only major triumph. After coaching a number of clubs in Sweden, the US and Norway, she had a brief spell as China assistant coach in 2007.
She then assumed the helm of the US and won gold at the 2008 Olympics and repeated the trick this year with victory against Japan, who had defeated Sundhage's side on penalties in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup final. Sundhage, whose US team beat Costa Rica 8-0 on Saturday after she confirmed her exit, will remain as US coach for a succession of home friendlies over the next few weeks, culminating in games against Germany on 20 and 23 October.
Dennerby himself will also have a farewell game in charge when the Netherlands visit Gothenburg on 15 September. Sundhage's first competitive fixture at the helm of Sweden will also come at Gamla Ullevi as it is there on 10 July that they will open their UEFA Women's EURO 2013 campaign.