USA

World champs name Andonovski as successor to Ellis

Vlatko Andonovski looks on
© imago images
  • Vlatko Andonovski announced as new USA women's national team coach
  • He takes over from two-time Women's World Cup winner Jill Ellis
  • Andonovski was officially presented to the press on Monday

The United States Soccer Federation announced Vlatko Andonovski as the new head coach of the USA women's national team on Monday in an official press conference.

Andonovski takes over from the most successful coach in the team's history, Jill Ellis, who guided the Stars and Stripes to FIFA Women's World Cup™ glory in France earlier this year.

Andonovski has been coach of National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) side Reign FC since November 2017 and was recently named as the league's coach of the year.

The Stars and Stripes' new head coach was officially presented to the press in New York City on Monday.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to coach the best team in the world," said Andonovski, referring to General Manager Kate Markgraf, who led the search for the appointment. He was then asked about his approach to the next significant international tournament on the women's football calendar.

“The Olympic tournament is about a year away but most importantly for us is to qualify for the tournament. That's first on the agenda. We have a very experienced team: we have players who have won big tournaments and we will rely heavily on them but we will also look at new players and expand our player pool, but in the end, the ones that perform the best in training and in games, will be there.”

Vlatko Andonovski hugs Megan Rapinoe
© imago images

Players who have worked with Andonovski, including The Best FIFA Women's Player 2019 Megan Rapinoe (pictured above with Andonovski) have been full of praise for the 43-year-old Macedonian-American.

“He’s probably one of the most intelligent soccer brains that I’ve ever come across,” said Allie Long in an interview with SB Nation blog Once a Metro. “He is extremely prepared in every sense. He knows the game so well, he studies it, he puts so much time into it."

Before taking up the role as Reign FC coach, Andonovski led FC Kansas City to back-to-back NWSL championships in 2014 and 2015.

Andonovski's first matches in charge of the USWNT will be a pair of friendlies against Sweden and Costa Rica on 7 and 10 November.

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