Vlatko Andonovski has resigned from his position as manager of the United States women’s national team, according to The Athletic. Andonovski’s contract was set to run through the 2023 calendar year, but a disappointing World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand effectively sealed his fate.
Vlatko Andonovski has resigned as coach of the #USWNT, a source confirmed to The Athletic on Wednesday.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 16, 2023
Andonovski oversaw the USWNT's earliest World Cup exit ever as the team was eliminated at the last-16 stage.
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The Americans entered the World Cup as favorites to win at DraftKings Sportsbook, set to complete a historic three-peat. They failed to win two group stage matches for the first time ever and finished second in their group for the second time, with the first time coming in 2011. They had their earliest exit from the competition, losing in the round of 16. USA had made the semifinal round at every World Cup prior to 2023.
The biggest problem was the lack of scoring, something the Americans used to be great at. USA scored exactly one goal after the opening match against Vietnam, which was effectively a glorified scrimmage. The young players picked for the team looked overawed, and the veterans couldn’t make up the difference. Megan Rapinoe missed a penalty kick in the shootout against Sweden. Sophia Smith, one of the aforementioned youngsters poised to be a breakout star, missed what would’ve been the winning penalty kick.
The World Cup failure comes on the heels of a relatively disappointing 2021 Olympics campaign, where USA won the bronze medal. That bronze finish was an improvement from the 2016 Olympics but a far cry from the three straight gold medals and four golds in five finals.
Laura Harvey, who Andonovski beat for the job, should be in the running. Jill Ellis, who led the team to wins at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, will potentially be considered. Other names to watch for this opening are Sarina Wiegman, Emma Hayes and Sonia Bompastor.