Vlatko Andonovski RESIGNS as USA coach after humiliating World Cup, crashing out in the last-16 with team dividing fans over refusal to sing the national anthem
U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski has resigned after overseeing the team’s worst ever World Cup.
There were widespread reports earlier on Wednesday that his resignation was imminent before The Associated Press confirmed the news on Wednesday night. US Soccer will likely confirm his departure on Thursday.
It comes after the US crashed out the World Cup in the last-16 stage, losing on penalties to Sweden.
The team arrived for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand chasing the ‘three-peat’ – the first team in men’s or women’s soccer to win three straight World Cups.
But they didn’t get close – opening the tournament with an underwhelming 3-0 win over Vietnam before needing two draws against Portugal and Holland to secure a place in the knockouts – just.
They even divided some of the fanbase back home when several players repeatedly did not sing the national anthem before games. It is not something new for the team but given the magnitude of the platform at the World Cup, it caused more dismay for supporters than usual.
The Americans played well in the Round of 16 against Sweden, but ultimately fell on penalties after a scoreless tie. The U.S. scored just four goals over the course of the tournament.
The United States had never finished worse that third at the World Cup.
According to ESPN, Andonovski has an array of offers to make a quick return to soccer at both club and international level. One is apparently from Kansas City Current in the NWSL
The 46-year-old Andonovski was named coach of the United States in October 2019, taking over for Jill Ellis, who led the United States to back-to-back World Cup titles.
He finished 51-5-9 during his time with the team, and was 3-2-5 in major tournaments.
It wasn’t just the World Cup that hurt Andonovski’s chances of keeping his job. The United States also finished with a disappointing bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Following the Olympics, Andonovski turned his attention on developing young players ahead of the World Cup. Some of the players who emerged were Sophia Smith, last year’s U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, and Trinity Rodman.
The United States was bitten by injuries in the run-up to the tournament, losing a pair of key players. Mallory Swanson injured her knee during a friendly in April, and captain Becky Sauerbrunn couldn’t recover from a foot injury in time.
Promising young forward Catarina Macario tore her ACL playing for her club team Lyon last year and also wasn’t ready to play in the World Cup.