Andonovski Out as USWNT Boss After Early World Cup Exit
Vlatko Andonovski is out as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team after a mutual agreement to part ways was reached with U.S. Soccer on Thursday.
Andonovski departs after a disappointing 2023 World Cup campaign that saw the USWNT bow out shockingly early in a Round of 16 penalty shootout loss to Sweden. It marked the first time the Americans failed to reach at least the semifinals of the tournament.
U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker thanked Andonovski for his dedication over the past four years but felt a change was needed after the USWNT’s subpar World Cup performance.
Andonovski took charge of the USWNT in October 2019 and led them to the 2020 Olympics final, where they fell to Canada. But tactics and roster decisions were questioned leading up to and during this summer’s World Cup.
The USWNT never seemed to find their top form in Australia/New Zealand. Despite a wealth of talent, they struggled for fluidity and cohesion under Andonovski.
While disappointment in major tournaments ultimately cost him his job, Andonovski did integrate several promising young players who could be future leaders of the team.
Crocker made clear U.S. Soccer remains committed to ensuring continued success for the USWNT program. He has appointed assistant coach Twila Kilgore as interim manager and will lead the search for Andonovski’s permanent replacement.
Based on who is available and has the best reputation, here are our top 3 candidates for the next USWNT coach could be:
- Sarina Wiegman – Currently the manager of England. She led them to the World Cup final (maybe they won, but this was written before the final) and won the Euros. She would likely take a lot to lure her from England but is considered the most sought-after coach in women’s soccer.
- Laura Harvey – Manager of OL Reign in the NWSL. She was a top candidate for the USWNT job back in 2019. Laura has experience coaching USWNT players and extensive club coaching success and she knows the American soccer system well.
- Tony Gustavsson – Currently manages Australia. Tony guided the Matildas to the World Cup semifinals and a fourth-place finish. He was previously an assistant for the USWNT. His success in Australia and familiarity with the USWNT make him an appealing option.
Whoever takes charge will have a talented roster, but one in need of revitalization after the World Cup letdown. Andonovski’s tenure is over after an era that promised so much but ended with the USWNT’s earliest World Cup exit in history.
Make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of USWNT and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth.