Vlatko Andonovski: “If you asked me if we’re ready to go in a World Cup and compete in the World Cup tomorrow, we’re probably not ready for it. But are we going to be ready in a year? Absolutely.” (USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

You’ve got to give Vlatko Andonovski credit.

The U.S. women’s national team head coach was brutally honest as he admitted his side wasn’t ready to play in a Women’s World Cup right now.

But, he said, just wait until next year.

“If you asked me if we’re ready to go in a World Cup and compete in the World Cup tomorrow, we’re probably not ready for it,” he said after the USA defeated Mexico in its final Group A match of the Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico on Monday night. “But are we going to be ready in a year? Absolutely. I’m very happy with with the progress of the team, development of the team and the development of the individuals within the team as well. I think that we’re doing a good job and we were moving in the right direction.”

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be held jointly by Australia and New Zealand.

The Americans sorely underachieved, although they enjoyed a substantial edge in ball possession – 66 percent to 34 for El Tri. They also attempted 15 shots while the Mexicans tried five. The USA also had 12 corner kicks, its foes two.

Yet, the USA had to wait until the 89th minute to solve a stout Mexico defense on Kristie Mewis’ goal.

“Sometimes it’s not just us. sometimes how much the opponent gives you or allows you to be creative for or to make things happen,”Andonovski said. “I want to give credit to Mexico I thought they were very motivated. They were fighting. I wouldn’t say that they were better than us, but they were definitely making it very hard for us. We had few opportunities early on in the first half, and we didn’t put them away.

“We knew that if we don’t score early in the in the first quarter of the game, that the game will be difficult We saw at the end, it became became really good atmosphere actually I was coaching to a big part of the game was smile on my face because to some degree, we wanted to see that.”