Vlatko Andonovski introduced as 9th head coach in USWNT history
CHICAGO (October 28, 2019) – U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro today named Vlatko Andonovski as the ninth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history.
Andonovski will be officially introduced at a press event today in New York City at 4 p.m. ET. The event will be broadcast live on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page, the USWNT Twitter page and on ussoccer.com.
Andonovski (Ann-DON-ahv-skee), 43, comes to U.S. Soccer after serving as a head coach during all seven seasons of the National Women’s Soccer League, a stint which included two championships with FC Kansas City (2014 and 2015). He spent five seasons with FC Kansas City (2013-2017) and the last two with Reign FC (2018-2019). He was twice named NWSL Coach of the Year, in 2013 and again after the just completed 2019 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome Vlatko to the U.S. Soccer family,” said Cordeiro. “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.”
“From the moment I came aboard, the main focus has been on hiring a new U.S. Women’s National Team coach,” said U.S. Women’s National Team general manager Markgraf, who lead the coaching search. “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.”
Andonovski will begin the job immediately as he chooses a roster and preps for the USA’s final two games of 2019, against Sweden on Nov. 7 in Columbus, Ohio and Costa Rica on Nov. 10 in Jacksonville, Fla. His first major competition will come during the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament set to take place at the end of January and beginning of February next year.
“First, I want to sincerely thank U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, our Women’s National Team General Manager Kate Markgraf and U.S. Soccer Director of Sporting Development Earnie Stewart and for this opportunity,” said Andonovski. “It’s a huge honor and I’m very excited to get started with this group of players and staff as we work towards continued success for this program. All of the talented coaches and players that have come before have built a legendary tradition of excellence and I’m committed to working very hard to continue to move this program forward.”
A native of North Macedonia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Andonovski is a former professional player who played six seasons for clubs in the Macedonian Football League. He came to the United States in 2000 when he signed with the Wichita Wings of the National Professional Soccer League and later played with the Kansas City Comets, California Cougars and Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He was a two-time MISL All-Star.
- Andonovski follows Mike Ryan (1985), Anson Dorrance (1986-1994), Tony DiCicco (1994-1999), April Heinrichs (2000-2004), Greg Ryan (2005-2007), Pia Sundhage (2008-2011), Tom Sermanni (2012-2014) and Jill Ellis (2014-2019) as official coaches of the U.S. Women’s National Team, which has been ranked No. 1 in the world for all but a few months since 2008.
- Andonovski is the third-youngest to be named head coach of the U.S. WNT. Dorrance was 35 when he took the post in 1986. Heinrichs was 36 when she took over in 2000.
- Andonovski holds a USSF “A” License, an NSCAA Goalkeeping License and an NSCAA Premier License. In 2018, he completed the U.S. Soccer Pro License Course.
- Andonovski coached 165 games in the NWSL and compiled a record of 72-50-43 in NWSL play, including the playoffs. The number of games coached ranks first all-time in the league and the wins are tied for second all-time.
- Andonovski was born in the capital city of Skopje, North Macedonia, in the former Yugoslavia. As a player, he spent six years playing professionally in Europe with Macedonian clubs FK Rabotnički, Makedonija GP and FK Vardar, before coming to the United States to play professional indoor soccer.
- He played in European competition for Makedonija GP in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, the precursor to the UEFA Europa League.
- Andonovski signed with the Wichita Wings of the National Professional Soccer League in 2000 and later played for the Kansas City Comets, California Cougars and Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League. With the Comets, he was named Defender of the Year in 2002 and the team’s MVP in 2005. He was a two-time MISL All-Star.
- Andonovski is a 2008 graduate of Park University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration/management and earned a Master’s degree in coaching education with a soccer track from Ohio University in 2018.
- He resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife Biljana and their three children Dragana (17), Luka (13) and Daria (7).