USWNT Coach Vlatko Andonovski Resigns After The Team’s World Cup Exit

Vlatko Andonovski has parted ways with the USWNT after the reigning World Cup champions suffered a devastating loss in the Round of 16 at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Andonovski has coached the team since 2019 — taking over for Jill Ellis after she led the women’s national squad to two consecutive World Cup titles — but has faced mounting criticism since the group’s bronze medal-winning performance in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Andonovski’s management style and his ability to lead the team at the international level were questioned last year after the U.S. Women suffered defeats in international friendlies against Spain and England, but it was the team’s poor performance at this year’s Women’s World Cup, ending in their earliest ever exit from the tournament, led to his resignation.

Assistant coach Twila Kilgore will serve as the team’s interim coach in upcoming international friendlies against South Africa in September while the federation casts a wide net for Andonovski’s permanent replacement ahead of the Olympics next summer. Along with Andonovski’s ousting, U.S. Soccer has also committed to continue evaluating the women’s program and current USWNT general manager Kate Markgraf’s role within the organization — both Andonovski and Markgraf were hired before the federation’s current sporting director, Matt Crocker, was hired.

While Andonvski was well-liked by players on the national squad, he faced the tough task of blending a team of veterans and uncapped rookies while also fielding injuries in many of his star players. Despite being a capable club coach for both FC Kansas City and Reign FC in NWSL, Andonovski’s inexperience at the international level, his inability to change his tactical gameplan during the tournament, and his mismanagement of subs likely came under heavy criticism during the tournament, which ended with a loss to Sweden.