The ninth head coach in the history of the United States women’s national team is Vlatko Andonovski.
The reigning NWSL Coach of the Year, his second time winning the award, Andonovski leaves his post leading Megan Rapinoe, Allie Long, and the Seattle Reign.
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The move is the first big one under general manager Kate Markgraf, who described why Andonovski was the man for the job.
“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. 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.”
Andonovski will run the USWNT through their paces for Nov. 7 and 10 friendlies against Sweden and Costa Rica, and it will be interesting to see how he navigates the process of choosing a roster of his preference considering the last one won the World Cup.
The USWNT program has become one of massive player power. Andonovski’s alliance with Rapinoe should serve him well, but remember how quickly things deteriorated for Tom Sermanni as he attempted to run the team after Pia Sundhage.
The establishment of Markgraf’s position should give any manager a longer leash, but it’s worth noting that the reins of the best team on Earth carry more responsibility than most.