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.