Dutch women's soccer coach leaves after disappointing Euros

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Mark Parsons, the coach who took the defending champion Netherlands to the quarterfinals of the women's European Championships, has left the job by mutual agreement with the Dutch soccer federation.

The Royal Netherlands Football Federation, known by its local acronym KNVB, announced Parsons' departure on Wednesday. It called the team’s play and results at the tournament “disappointing.”

Parsons succeeded Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to the European title on home soil in 2017 and repeated the feat with England last month.

He had been in the job since May last year with a contract through the current World Cup qualifying campaign. Parsons joined the Dutch team from the Portland Thorns in the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League.

While Wiegman won widespread plaudits for her tactical savvy in steering England to victory over Germany in the final, Parsons faced criticism at home for failing to ignite a talented Dutch team — that also was hit by injuries and COVID-19 absences at the tournament before being knocked out by France in the quarterfinals.

“In the run-up to and at the European Championship, both the style of play and the results were disappointing and we cannot afford that,” Jan Dirk van der Zee, who is responsible for women’s football at the KNVB, said in a statement. “The bar is high. The Netherlands was defending champion and also a finalist at the last World Cup, we want to compete for prizes.”

The federation said it will appoint a replacement soon as the team bids to qualify for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.


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The Associated Press