Sarina Wiegman turned down interest from U.S. Soccer in 2019 when the U.S. federation approached her to discuss its women’s national team coaching vacancy, multiple sources familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports.
Wiegman, who is currently preparing to coach England in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final versus Spain, has been publicly mooted as a candidate to fill the USWNT’s latest vacancy after head coach Vlatko Andonovski stepped down this week.
But last time around, during U.S. Soccer’s search to replace outgoing USWNT coach Jill Ellis, Wiegman wasn’t interested, the sources said.
She was head coach of the Netherlands women’s national team at the time, with a contract through the Tokyo Olympics, which were originally slated for July 2020.
She was living in the Netherlands, where she’d spent the vast majority of her life, with her husband and two daughters. The U.S. job would have required a stateside move, likely to Chicago (where U.S. Soccer is headquartered), in late 2019.
Ellis was stepping down in October 2019, a few months after winning a second consecutive World Cup title. U.S. Soccer’s search began in August 2019, and ultimately concluded in late October with the hire of Andonovski.
The Olympics were eventually postponed to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, England interviewed Wiegman, and they agreed to a deal that would allow her to take charge of the Lionesses after the Olympics, in September 2021.
She continued to coach the Netherlands through August 2021, losing in an Olympic quarterfinal penalty shootout to the USWNT. She then took over as England coach and, 10 months later, led the Lionesses to their first European championship on home soil. A year after that, she has them in their first World Cup final (Sunday, 6 a.m., Fox).
One day after their semifinal victory, U.S. Soccer announced that Andonovski had stepped down as USWNT coach following the team’s Round of 16 exit. Among U.S. fans and media, talk of potential candidates to replace him instantly revolved around Wiegman.
Wiegman, though, is once again under contract, this time with England through 2025. Hours after news of Andonovski’s resignation leaked, even before U.S. Soccer’s announcement, English Football Association CEO Mark Bullingham spoke to reporters in Sydney, and said the FA would “100%” reject any approaches for Wiegman.
“We’ve seen lots of rumors, and look, she is a special talent. We know that,” Bullingham said. “From our side, she’s contracted through until 2025. We think she’s doing a great job. We’re huge supporters of her and hopefully she feels the same way. So she’s someone we’d like to have with us for a very long time.”
On Friday, Wiegman addressed the speculation. "I have a contract until 2025," she said. "I’m really enjoying my job and I have the impression that people still like me doing the job. I have no plans to leave.”