Andonovski named new USWNT head coach

Vlatko Andonovski
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The 43-year-old will take over from two-time World Cup-winner Jill Ellis after spending the past seven seasons coaching in the NWSL

Vlatko Andonovski has been named head coach of the U.S. women's national team. 

Andonovski takes over for Jill Ellis, who stepped down from her position in October after five years in charge and two World Cup titles. 

Andonovski, 43, has managed Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League for the past two seasons, leading the club to the NWSL semifinals in the 2019 season.

Before that, Andonovski managed FC Kansas City for three seasons, leading the club to back-to-back NWSL titles in 2014 and 2015 before the franchise folded in 2017.

Andonovski was particularly lauded for his work with Reign FC in 2019, as the club managed to make the NWSL playoffs despite a crippling amount of injuries and international absences.

"It's a huge honour and I'm very excited to get started with this group of players and staff as we work towards continued success for this programme," he said in a statement.

"All of the talented coaches and players that have come before have built a legendary tradition of excellence and I'm committed to working very hard to continue to move this programme forward."

Despite his strong reputation at the club level, Andonovski will be making his first foray into international coaching by taking the USWNT position.

Andonovski will make his USWNT debut in a November 7 friendly against Sweden, before the team takes on Costa Rica three days later to close out a successful 2019.

His first order of business will be getting his team ready for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo next summer as the team looks to bounce back from a shocking quarterfinal exit to Sweden in 2016.

The USWNT will partake in Concacaf Olympic qualifying in early 2020 before facing top-level competition in the SheBelieves Cup in the spring of 2020. 

Should the U.S. qualify, Andonovski will then be faced with the difficult task of picking an 18-player roster to take to Japan next summer.

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Andonovski was born in Skopje, North Macedonia, which at the time was part of Yugoslavia. He played professionally in Europe before moving to the U.S. in 2000 to play professional indoor soccer.

While managing FC Kansas City, Andonovski also coached the Kansas City Comets of the Major Arena Soccer League concurrently, as the two seasons did not overlap.