Former USWNT Head Coach Tony DiCicco Dies

Tony DiCicco, USWNT
Image via U.S. Soccer

For the current generation of American women who are World Champions and playing professionally in the United States and in places around the world, they all probably owe a level of thanks to Tony DiCicco.

A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, DiCicco was head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won Gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and three year later would capture the team’s second World Cup in a tournament contested on American soil.

On Tuesday, June 20, the U.S. soccer community lost DiCicco, who passed away at the age of 68.

“Today we mourn the loss of one of the most influential coaches in U.S. Soccer history,” said Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president. “Tony’s passion for the game as a coach, administrator and broadcaster was always evident and his relationships with everyone in the soccer community distinguished him as a compassionate and much-loved man. U.S. Soccer will forever be thankful to Tony for his vast contributions to the game and we extend thoughts and condolences to his family and to the many people who were positively impacted by him during what was a remarkable life.”

DiCicco was the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team when the side captured the nation’s attention in the summer of 1999 when the Women’s World Cup packed stadiums across the country. The tournament ended in front of 90,125 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, where the United States defeated China in a penalty-kick shootout. It is still the largest crowd ever to watch a women’s sporting event.

Following the announcement of DiCicco’s passing, there was an outpouring of support from numerous players of today and yesterday, a sample of which is below.