Sept. 10, 2014 CHARLOTTESVILLE – Virginia women’s soccer head coach Steve Swanson will be assisting U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis and her staff to prepare the USWNT for the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament next month in the United States. Swanson will continue to lead the Cavalier program while working with U.S. Soccer.
“In terms of coaching, there is no higher honor than to represent your country at the international level,” said Swanson, who is also the head coach of the United States U-23 Women’s National Team. “I am grateful to Jill and U.S. Soccer for providing this opportunity, and to the University of Virginia, the athletic department and especially the players and coaches in our program for being so supportive.”
In Swanson’s limited absences – he may miss one-to-two Cavalier matches — associate head coach Ron Raab will serve as the interim head coach. Raab served in that role in 2012 when Swanson missed the first eight games of the season, leading the United States to the championship at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan.
“Obviously, the goal, especially in the fall with CONCACAF qualifying, is to minimize my time away from the team,” Swanson said. “We are very fortunate here to have such a qualified and experienced staff, who are not only great leaders, but are also well respected by all the players. Between Ron, [assistant coaches] Kerry [Dziczkaniec] and Jaime [Frias], the team will be in excellent hands when I am away, which is one of the main reasons this opportunity became a reality.”
The USWNT will play two friendlies in September against Mexico (Sept. 13 in Sandy, Utah and Sept. 18 in Rochester, N.Y.) to prepare for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in October. The qualifying tournament will run Oct. 15-26, with games in Kansas City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.