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Vlatko Andonovski named USWNT head coach

Andonovski takes over for two-time World Cup winner Jill Ellis.

Andonovski paces the sidelines as his club plays the NC Courage on July 13, 2019 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (Mitchell Northam / Pro Soccer USA)
Andonovski paces the sidelines as his club plays the NC Courage on July 13, 2019 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (Mitchell Northam / Pro Soccer USA)

The United States Soccer Federation introduced Vlatko Andonovski as its new women’s national team coach Monday afternoon. 

Andonovski joins the USWNT from Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League. The 43-year-old led the Tacoma-based club for two seasons and won the NWSL’s 2019 coach of the year award. Prior to his time with the Reign, Andonovski spent five seasons with now-defunct FC Kansas City, where he won NWSL championships in 2014 and 2015. He won his first coach of the year honor with Kansas City in 2013.

“It’s a huge honor and I’m very excited to get started with this group of players and staff as we work towards continued success for this program,” Andonovski said in a prepared statement. “All of the talented coaches and players that have come before have built a legendary tradition of excellence and I’m committed to working very hard to continue to move this program forward.”

Andonovski takes over for Jill Ellis, who coached the Americans to the past two FIFA World Cup titles. Ellis stepped down from the team in after the USWNT World Cup Victory Tour ended in October. She won more games than any other coach in program history, compiling a 106-19-7 record with the national team.

Andonovski reportedly garnered support among current USWNT players. He coached 2019 World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long during his stint with the Reign.

“We identified the qualities we thought were most important for this unique position, we talked to quite a few people in the women’s soccer community domestically and around the world, and in the end, Vlatko was the best fit with his experience with elite players, how he sees the game, how he coaches the game and manages players, and his overall personality and ability to take on a job of this magnitude,” new U.S. women’s national team general manager Kate Markgraf said. “I know all the players and staff are excited to begin this new chapter in women’s national team history with him and start the important work towards qualifying for the Olympics.”

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