Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 9/1/12

Pia Sundhage will step down as the U.S. Women’s National Team coach, some of the players spend all five years with her at the helm and some players were just getting to know her. No matter the time and length she left an impact on these women’s lives.

I asked long time U.S. defender Heather Mitts about  this,

“Pia led us to two Olympic Golds and a silver in the World Cup. We are thankful for the opportunity to be coached by her for 5 wonderful years. The next coach has big shoes to fill. We will miss her.”

 Leading the USA to gold was Carli Lloyd with her two goals, in the Gold medal game as the U.S. beat Japan 2-1. I wanted her to weigh in on Pia she told me, “In the last 5 years Pia has led us to 2 Olympic Golds and a Silver in the World Cup. She has also been brave enough to come in and change the way this team plays from an “American style” to a more “possession style.” She is so passionate about the game and that was contagious. Pia has always believed in me from day 1 thus allowing my game to grow and giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills. I will sincerely miss her and I wish her nothing but the best. Thank you Pia.” Former players were touched by this as well as many of them are still playing pro and very involved in women’s soccer like  Joanna Lohman who spent the last season in the W-League with D.C United Women.  Lohamn shared her thoughts with me, “Pia had the personality and the coaching charisma to get the best out of each player that stepped onto the field for the USWNT. She provided the stable foundation that propelled the team to global fame and further instilled the trade mark ‘never say die’ attitude. She will be hard to replace but it will be a highly sought after position that will draw some very qualified coaches.” The news coming just a few hours before the team kicks off the “victory tour” to celebrate their gold medal at the London Olympics. The players got the word before media and now joined the conversation via Twitter expressing their thoughts. The headliners: Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux,  Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts sharing their feelings: As the search moves forward a new coach Pia Sundhage is expected to stay with the USA next game of their victory tour, a match  against Australia on Sept. 16 in Carson, California. We all know Sundhage will return to her native Sweden and Thomas Dennerby recently stepped down as Sweden’s coach after 8 years. Pia Sundhage very likely will take that job. Follow Charlie Flowe on Twitter  @DJFLOWE
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