Kate Markgraf was GM for four years. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
Only a day after Vlatko Andonovski resigned as head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, Kate Margkraf has decided to leave her post as team general manager with U.S. Soccer, the organization annnounced on Friday afternoon.
The federation said that Markgraf will provide support through the end of the month to assist in the transition.
“Kate has been an instrumental part of women’s national team both on and off the field for many years, and we’re very thankful for the tireless work she has given to the USWNT and all our youth national teams,” U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said in a statement. “We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to building on the foundation she helped establish over the past several years.”
It was not immediately known if the U.S.’s abysmal performance at the Women’s World Cup was a reason why Markgraf stepped down. The two-time defending champion Americans had their worst record in nine World Cups, failing to reach to reach the semifinals for the first time. The USA was eliminated in the Round of 16 by Sweden, which won in penalty kicks after playing to a draw.
“We are grateful to Kate for the tremendous work she has done in helping guide our women’s national team and the transformative work on our youth women’s national team programs,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “Her knowledge and experience have been incredibly valuable, and we are poised to build on that foundation as we look to the future.”
Markgraf was named as the first general manager and head of women’s soccer in USWNT history on Aug. 12, 2019. She took on the responsibilities of working with the head coach in creating, executing and monitoring technical plans for the USWNT and all U.S. youth national teams.
“It has been an incredible honor to work with the players, coaches and staff at U.S. Soccer on the mission of keeping our program at the top of the women’s game,” Markgraf said in a statement. “I am proud of the foundation we have built, and even more proud of the character and commitment demonstrated by our players as they represent the United States on and off the field. I look forward to supporting all of our programs and have every confidence that we will maintain our standards of excellence moving forward.”
Markgraf, who was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame this year, represented the USA 201 times from 1998-2010, playing in three World Cup tournaments and three Olympic Games. She was a member of one World Cup winner (1999) and two Olympic champions (2004, 2008). She is one of 14 American female players to appear 200 or more times for her country and started at center back in six consecutive world championship events for the USA. She competed in 16 World Cup matches and 16 Olympic matches.