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U.S. Ladies’s Soccer Coach Vlatko Andonovski Resigns After World Cup Exit

Vlatko Andonovski, the pinnacle coach of america girls’s nationwide soccer crew, has resigned, three individuals with direct data of the state of affairs stated Wednesday, ending a comparatively tumultuous tenure managing what was as soon as the world’s pre-eminent crew.

The U.S. Soccer Federation plans to announce Andonovski’s departure as coach on Thursday, the individuals stated, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to debate the transfer publicly.

Andonovski’s four-year contract was scheduled to run out on the finish of the yr. U.S. Soccer will appoint an interim coach for 2 pleasant matches this fall however hopes to have a everlasting substitute named by the top of the yr in an effort to start preparations for subsequent summer time’s Paris Olympics.

Andonovski’s resignation was not surprising. The USA vastly underperformed at this yr’s Ladies’s World Cup after profitable the earlier two tournaments. The crew had its earliest elimination in event historical past after dropping a penalty shootout to rival Sweden within the spherical of 16. The USA scored solely 4 objectives in a World Cup it entered as one of many favorites, beating solely one in all its 4 opponents, Vietnam, and drawing with the Netherlands and Portugal throughout the group stage.

Andonovski, 46, had been a head coach within the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League for seven years earlier than U.S. Soccer introduced his hiring in October 2019. His predecessor, Jill Ellis, stepped down after 5 years with the crew after america gained the 2019 Ladies’s World Cup, making Ellis the primary coach to win back-to-back Ladies’s World Cups.

Andonovski gained the primary 16 video games he coached, together with titles in 2020 on the Concacaf Olympic qualifying event and the SheBelieves Cup. The coronavirus pandemic struck six months into Andonovski’s tenure, pushing the Tokyo Olympics again a yr to 2021 and complicating his first two years on the job. As soon as the Video games got here round, america entered as favorites however gained solely a bronze medal.

Because the World Cup started, america’ means to seize an elusive three-peat — no crew has gained three titles in a row because the event’s inception in 1991 — was referred to as into query virtually instantly. The Individuals beat Vietnam of their opening sport, however by a relatively modest 3-0 margin, nothing just like the 13-0 romp over Thailand that opened their 2019 title run. The Individuals would rating solely as soon as extra, on a header from Lindsey Horan that evened the rating with the Netherlands, 1-1.

A scoreless tie with Portugal was sufficient for america to advance however not win its group, spurring the necessity for a “Perception” social media marketing campaign heading into the spherical of 16 and opening the nationwide crew as much as criticism from its personal, with former gamers akin to Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd voicing dissatisfaction with the crew’s fashion of play.

Andonovski was criticized for his tactical decision-making, together with his selections on substitutes. He additionally had star gamers like Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz enjoying totally different roles than they’d prior to now, with combined outcomes. Thrilling newcomers like Ashley Sanchez and 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson barely performed.

Ultimately, a millimeter was the brink to let Sweden advance and cease america — and Andonovski — miles wanting expectations.

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