WWC2023: Andonovski quits US team after early exit

August 17 – US coach Vlatko Andonovski has resigned, bringing to a close a management reign that collapsed with the team’s dramatic round of 16 exit from the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

US media reported that Andonovski has stepped down.Twila Kilgore, a member of Andonovski’s staff, will serve as interim coach  for the two friendly matches after the summer but the US Soccer Federation will seek to name a permanent manager to build towards the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Andonovski’s departure does not come as a surprise. The Americans experienced their worst-ever Women’s World Cup, failing to reach the last four for the first time. They never gelled and laboured through the group stages with a modest 3-0 win against Vietnam and two draws against the Netherlands and Portugal.

They outshot their opponents on each occasion but lacked cohesion and a clinical edge. Sweden, a third European opponent, proved too much in the second round.

Andonovski took the US role in 2019, succeeding Jill Ellis, who won the World Cup that year. Ellis had also led the US to success in 2015, the first coach to win back-to-back women’s world titles.

Andonovoski could never replicate those heights in a tenure that was interrupted by covid. The United States, heavy favourites before flying to Tokyo for the Olympics in 2021, could only manage bronze at the Games. At the World Cup, the US never ignited and his managerial choices were questioned. The Americans crashed out against Sweden by a couple of millimetres, shattering the dream of a three-peat.

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