Soccer

Vlatko Andonovski steps down as United States head coach

Vlatko Andonovski has stepped down as USA boss (Nick Potts/PA)
Vlatko Andonovski has stepped down as USA boss (Nick Potts/PA) Vlatko Andonovski has stepped down as USA boss (Nick Potts/PA)

United States head coach Vlatko Andonovski has stepped down from his position in the wake of the team’s last-16 exit at the World Cup.

The two-time defending champions’ hopes of a further triumph in Australia and New Zealand were ended by a penalty shootout defeat to Sweden.

Assistant coach Twila Kilgore has been named as the team’s interim head coach.

In a statement on the US Soccer website, Andonovski, who succeeded Jill Ellis in 2019, said: “It’s been the honour of my life to coach the talented, hard-working players of the USWNT for the past four years.

“I’m very optimistic for the future of this programme, especially considering all the young players that got opportunities over the past few years who will no doubt be leaders and impact players moving forward.

“While we are all disappointed by the outcome at this year’s World Cup, I am immensely proud of the progress this team has made, the support they’ve shown for each other and the inspiration they’ve provided for players around the world.

“I will be forever thankful to the US Soccer Federation for giving me the chance to coach this remarkable team.”

The United States face up to their World Cup exit
The United States face up to their World Cup exit The United States were knocked out of the World Cup by Sweden on penalties (Hamish Blair/AP).

US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said: “All of us at US Soccer thank Vlatko for his dedication to our women’s national team over the past four years.

“Vlatko worked tirelessly for this team and has been a strong and positive leader for our women’s program.

“We’re grateful for everything he has contributed to US Soccer and know he has a bright future in the sport.”

Andonovski led the USA to the bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics, but defeat to Sweden condemned the four-time world champions to their worst ever finish at a World Cup.

They won just one of their four games at the tournament, eventually going out 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw with Sweden.