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They’re Letting an Out Lesbian Coach America’s (Gold Medal Winning) Women’s National Soccer Team?!

Pia Sundhage (“”Suund-HAGH-eh”), the Swede who took over as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2007 and became the first non-American to do so, just became the first something else: the team’s first out gay head coach.

Sundhage is the team’s seventh coach, and on a Swedish television show revealed the not-so-big secret: She’s a lesbian, and has a partner named Marie. “There has been no problem for me to be openly gay as head coach in the U.S,” she said on the program (which you can watch here, sans English subtitles). A former Swedish National Team player herself, Sunhage led the Women’s National Team to the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The acknowledgment is, certainly, Sundhage’s biggest statement to date about her sexuality, but as we understand it, it hasn’t been much of a secret inside the soccer community, from the team she coaches to the international community. But hey, score one for visibility.

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  • Chgo921

    Who is “they” and what do you mean by “letting”? A gold in the Olympics? I’d say she deserves to be coaching the team.

  • Lynn

    I think “they’ refers to the U.S. Soccer Federation. Yes, Pia Sundhage definitely is the right coach. The USSF would be foolish to let homophobia interfere.

  • alan brickman

    if it was a gay man…now that would be a real problem…..

  • TommyOC

    @chgo921: on the world stage, in women’s soccer, Americans are *expected* to take home the gold medals and the world championships. For them to not be in a final of a major tournament is quite an upset.

    That said, Pia is a great coach. And she’s got a great team (with a lesbian *playing* on it, Queerty). The players have said nothing but great things about her. She definitely one of the greatest female coaches in the world right now.

    as for whether this changes anything… Absolutely not. We know womens sports are more progressive than men when it comes to sexuality. I don’t know why… But it is what it is (thankfully).

    USSF can’t let her go. Why? Because the Swedes, the Dutch, the Chinese or even the Brazilians would hire her on the spot. And the last thing we need is for one of our strongest opponents to get such top-flight coaching.

  • chgo921

    @Lynn: Yes, I understood “they”. I was trying to point out (unsuccessfully) that Queerty took a negative approach to a great story. Instead of “they let her coach the team” it’s more of a story of “look at this woman’s accomplishment . . . and she’s also a lesbian.”

  • Same Crap

    A lesbian playing or coaching a women’s pro sport should not really be a schocker, queerty.

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