CHICAGO, Ill. – The United States Soccer Federation announced Monday that Virginia women’s soccer head coach Steve Swanson has been named the head coach of the Under-20 Women’s National Team. Swanson assumes those duties in addition to his role leading the Cavalier program.
“I am extremely grateful to US Soccer, the University of Virginia, and specifically [US Soccer Women’s Technical Director] April Heinrichs for helping make this opportunity a reality,” said Swanson. “April’s vision and her long term commitment to the development of our sport on the women’s side is inspiring and is just one of the many reasons that makes this position so exciting. I also want to thank my family, [UVa Athletics Director] Craig Littlepage, the coaching staff at Virginia and our players for their support in this endeavor. There is no way I could take on an opportunity like this without them.”
The CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup will be held early next year. If the team advances through qualifying, it will compete next August at the World Cup in Uzbekistan. The United States has won two of the previous five U-20 Women’s World Cups, taking the title in 2002 and 2008.
“Coach Swanson is not only a tremendous coach, but he is a communicator, leader and educator,” Littlepage said. “His strengths include identifying then developing talent and putting his players in positions where they can be successful and contribute to their team’s success. We are proud of Coach Swanson for earning this prestigious appointment and wish him and the U-20 team great success.”
Swanson is entering his 12th season at Virginia and is the all-time winningest coach in program history with a 153-61-31 record (.688) over the past 11 seasons. He has led the Cavaliers to the NCAA Tournament each season, reaching the round of 16 nine times and the quarterfinals twice. In 2004, he guided Virginia to its first ACC Championship.
Prior to arriving in Charlottesville, Swanson was the head coach at Dartmouth (1990-95) and Stanford (1996-99). He has a 257-124-42 career record and his teams have won five conference titles and made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. He is the only Division I coach to win championships in three different conferences. Swanson has coached 18 All-Americans, eight conference players of the year, and 71 all-conference selections. Of his former players at Dartmouth, Stanford and Virginia, 24 have played professionally in the WUSA or WPS.
Swanson has long been associated with US Soccer. From 2000-02 he served as the head coach of the U-16 Girls National Team and U-18 Women’s National Team. In recent years he has served as an assistant coach with the U-17, U-18 and U-20 National Teams.