Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello Hege

U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage continues to be the Barack Obama of women's soccer. First, she brought change, new ideas, and some exciting cultural diplomacy to the U.S. team and now she is reaching out to "the other side of the aisle." Everyone knows that Swedes have the same relationship with Norwegians as do Texans with Oklahomans (ok, maybe not that fierce a rivalry), but Sundhage has hired Norwegian legend Hege Riise to join her coaching staff. You can read about the appointment here. The irony of Riise, a long-time "friendly" rival of the U.S. team and of Sundhage when played internationally for Sweden, is not lost on many, but it just goes to show that in the world of international soccer, everyone can get along. Riise, one of the greatest players of her generation, earned the Golden Ball at the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup as Norway lifted the trophy and captained her country for many years. Riise will be at Sundhage's side for the Algarve Cup, a tournament she played in many times for Norway (the first 14 years ago!) and we have to say, Hege, you look great in U.S. gear!


KarenElyse said...

That's awesome!!!

Roland said...

Hege was such a threat to the US. When she played, she was always marked closely. That Tiffany Roberts-Hege matchup (in the olympics?) was legendary. It's nice to know she's on our side now :)