NEW YORK — It’s official.
Vlatko Andonovski was introduced to the media as U.S. women’s national team head coach at Hotel Eventi as U.S. Soccer made his appointment official Monday afternoon.
Andonovski succeeds Jill Ellis, who directed the Americans to consecutive Women’s World Cup title, the most recent one in France this past summer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Vlatko to the U.S. Soccer family,” U.S. president Carlos Cordeiro said. “As one of the most accomplished coaches in the NWSL history, he’s proven he can help world-class players reach their peak, inspire his teams and win championships. He is widely respected by players and leaders across our soccer community, and he has the work ethic and winning mentality to guide the greatest women’s soccer program in history into their next era of success.”
Added USWNT general manager Kate Markgraf: “From the moment I came aboard, the main focus has been on hiring a new U.S. Women’s National Team coach. 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. 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.”
The 43-year-old Andonovski became the ninth coach since the team was created in 1985, joining (in chronological order): Mike Ryan, Anson Dorrance, Tony DiCicco, April Heinrichs, Greg Ryan, Pia Sundhage, Tom Sermanni and Ellis as fulltime head coaches. Lauren Gregg coached the team on an interim basis twice.
A native of Macedonia, Andonovski emigrated to the United States and played indoor soccer for several years. He went on to coach the Kansas City Comets before joining FC Kansas City in the National Women’s Soccer League for five years.
Andonovski guided Reign FC the past three NWSL seasons. Reign FC (10-6-8) finished fourth in the NWSL, reaching the playoffs. the team was eliminated by the eventual champion, the North Carolina Courage.
Last week Andonovski was named NWSL coach of the year.