Connect with us


How the Vlatko Andonovski era could have had a different ending

The head coach’s four-year tenure was filled with what-ifs, right to the final days

Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

The Vlatko Andonovski era as U.S. women’s national team head coach is over. Andonovski has stepped down, sources tell The Equalizer, with U.S. Soccer expected to confirm the news on Thursday.

It was no surprise, not after the team crashed out of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the Round of 16 to Sweden. Since the advent of the Olympic Games in 1996, this is only the second time the United States has held neither the World Cup nor Olympic title (silver at the 2000 Olympics, third at the 2003 World Cup).

At the moment, Andonovski is under fire from all sides. His team played a boring style. He did not put players in positions to win. He failed to recognize flaws in roster construction. Some have gone so far as to question his credentials even after he routinely out-coached his National Women’s Soccer League rivals and was widely welcomed by a majority of players at that time.

Regardless, the results are what they are, and Andonovski is now a former U.S. coach. His tenure will be remembered as either an epic disaster, or the choke point when the decades-old dominance of the U.S. team finally began to fade. His tenure was also an odd one in many ways. Could it have been salvaged? How could things have gone differently? Let’s take a look.

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long
Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.

Your account


More in Analysis