US women’s football coach Vlatko Andonovski set to resign after team struggled in World Cup

The 46-year-old Macedonian-born Andonovski was named coach of the USA in October 2019, taking over for Jill Ellis, who led the US to back-to-back World Cup titles. He won 51 of his 65 matches during his time with the team. He was head coach of Seattle’s OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League when he was hired.

It wasn’t just the World Cup that hurt Andonovski’s chances of keeping his job. The US also finished with a disappointing bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kate Markgraf, team general manager, stuck with Andonovski following the Olympics and the team focused on developing young players ahead of the World Cup.

In the run-up to the 2023 tournament, losing a pair of key players. Mallory Swanson injured her knee during a friendly in April, and captain Becky Sauerbrunn couldn’t recover from a foot injury in time.

The World Cup was challenging for many elite teams because of the ever-growing parity in the women’s game. Germany, Brazil and Canada, the winners in Tokyo, also got knocked out early.

During his seven years in the NWSL, Andonovski also led the now-defunct FC Kansas City from the league’s inception in 2013 until the club folded in 2017, winning two league titles with the team.

His predecessor, Ellis, was named coach of the team in 2014 and led the US to eight overall tournament titles, including victories at the World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Over the course of her tenure, the US lost just seven matches.

The process will start soon to find a replacement as the United States have already qualified for the 2024 Olympics in France. 

The US and Mexico associations also said in June they intended to submit a bid to jointly host the women’s tournament in 2027.

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