In 2019, Vlatko Andonovski became the ninth US Women’s Soccer Coach. In addition to his seven seasons as a head coach in the National Women’s Soccer League, Andonovski coached two championship teams for FC Kansas City (2014 and 2015).
FC Kansas City (2013-2017) and Reign FC (2018-2019) were his previous clubs. In addition, the NWSL named him Coach of the Year twice, in 2013 and 2019.
Vlatko Andonovski Was Coaching In Kansas
When Vlatko Andonovski became the coach of Kansas City’s former team in the National Women’s Soccer League, his teams would practice at Park University, and Pirates coach Efrem Shimlis marveled at the workouts.
United States national team greats Lauren Holiday, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Amy Rodriguez were falling in line for a coach without a national profile.
Vlatko Andonovski had been a successful youth coach in Kansas City and an All-Star player for the Kansas City Comets pro indoor team. But now he was coaching some of the world’s best athletes. Shimlis noticed how everyone had bought in.
“I never missed a practice,” Shimlis said. “I loved watching him, how organized and detailed he was, and how this local coach had the attention of those world-class players. That was testimony to him.”
Vlatko Andonovski, who lives in Kansas City, officially has the attention of all of the nation’s top players. He was named the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) coach in 2019.
You know, the team that dominated the 2019 World Cup competition with such players as Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan? The US team has won two straight and four of eight World Cup competitions.
Shimlis, who got to know Vlatko Andonovski as a student at Park, said his friend is up to the task.
“Listen, that’s a lot of pressure,” Shimlis said. “Winning two in a row? Holy cow, that’s pressure. But if anybody can do it, he can. So I’m sure he’ll keep them going.”
National Women’s Soccer League Championships
Andonovski guided FC Kansas City to two National Women’s Soccer League championships, and most recently, he coached Reign FC in Seattle. In addition, he coached current USWNT members at both clubs, Sauerbrunn in Kansas City and Megan Rapinoe in Seattle.
“As one of the most accomplished coaches in the NWSL history, Vlatko Andonovski has proven he can help world-class players reach their peak, inspire his teams and win championships,” US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said.
“Players and leaders across our soccer community widely respect him. He has the work ethic and winning mentality to guide the greatest women’s soccer program in history into their next era of success.”
The US Women’s Soccer Team won all seven of its 2019 World Cup matches, capped by a 2-0 triumph over the Netherlands. Rapinoe and Morgan each scored six goals in the event.
Vlatko Andonovski Took Over From Jill Ellis
Andonovski takes over for Jill Ellis, who stepped down after five years with the USWNT. His first match as the national team coach was on November 7, 2019, against Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, which ended in a 3-2 victory thanks to a Carli Lloyd brace.
His first major competition was the Women’s Olympic Soccer Tournament, where they won the bronze medal (and lost their 44-match unbeaten streak).
Nevertheless, the team qualified for both the 2024 Summer Olympics in France and the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup by reaching the semifinals of the Olympic Games.
“It’s a huge honor, and I’m very excited to get started with this group of players and staff as we work toward continued success in World Cups,” Andonovski said.
“All 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 moving this program forward.”
Playing Career And Coaching Path Of Vlatko Andonovski
Vlatko Andonovski won a Major Arena Soccer League championship as coach of the Kansas City Comets in 2014 and compiled a 58-15 record in three seasons.
His combined record with FC Kansas City and Reign FC was 72-50-43, including playoffs, and he twice won NWSL coach of the year.
Andonovski, a native of the former Yugoslavia, now North Macedonia, played professionally for six seasons in Europe as a defender before coming to the United States.
His first US team was the Wichita Wings of the MISL. He also played four seasons with the Kansas City Comets and was twice an All-Star.
His coaching career started in Kansas City area youth leagues. In addition, he has served as Sporting Blue Valley elite club director and head coach of the girls’ Olympic Development Program for Missouri.
He won four Missouri championships and a youth national championship as a youth coach. Now, he’s coaching the world’s best women on the planet.
“I was talking to him and thinking, ‘I’m talking to the coach of the women’s national team,’ and that’s crazy,” Shimlis said. “I’m so happy for him. Kansas should be happy for him.”
US Women’s Soccer Coach History
- Mike Ryan 1985
- Anson Dorrance 1986–1994
- Tony DiCicco 1994–1999
- Lauren Gregg 1997 (interim), 2000 (interim)
- April Heinrichs 2000–2005
- Greg Ryan 2005–2007
- Pia Sundhage 2007–2012
- Tom Sermanni 2013–2014
- Jill Ellis 2012 (interim), 2014–2019
- Vlatko Andonovski 2019–present
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!