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‘I can win in this job’: How Vlatko Andonovski got started in women’s soccer

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

Seven years ago, after Vlatko Andonovski finished his interview to become the founding coach of FC Kansas City, he got in an elevator with team president Brian Budzinski. The two had known each other for a decade, having coached together with great success in the youth game around Kansas City.

“He looked me square in the eyes,” Budzinski recalled in a phone interview last week, “and he said, ‘Brian I want this job. I can do this job. I can win at this job. And I want to do even more than this job. I want to go on and be the national team coach.’”

When the new club announced Andonovski as its first hire shortly thereafter, there was widespread guffawing among established women’s soccer luminaries. The club was already being run by a mystery group that included Budzinski and had the distinct look of being the outsiders in the new eight-team National Women’s Soccer League.

“We knew from the very beginning, we were the outsiders,” Budzinski said.

Budzinski knew something else.

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