Welcoming Vlatko Andonovski as USWNT Head Coach
New York City, New York
Monday, October 28, 2019
“The Next Era of Success”
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you all for being here.
Here in the United States, we are incredibly proud of our U.S. Women’s National Team—the greatest women’s soccer team in history and four-time World Cup champions! Today, we are thrilled to announce the new head coach who will lead our team in their next era of success, Vlatko Andonovski.
I want to start by thanking Kate Markgraf, the team’s first General Manager, for leading the search. This was her first major assignment when she started in August, and it’s another example of our commitment to making sure that soccer operations are run by soccer experts.
Kate brought to this process her experience with winning cultures—winning the World Cup in 1999 and two Olympic gold medals. She led a very thorough process, supported by a search committee that included our Vice President—and National Team veteran—Cindy Parlow-Cone and our Sporting Director Earnie Stewart.
I’ll let Kate go into the details, but I will say that she cast a wide net, she interviewed multiple candidates and, based on her recommendation, Vlatko’s appointment was approved unanimously by the Board of Directors late last week. So, thank you, Kate, for your terrific leadership.
Although I was not on the search committee, I have had the opportunity to meet with Vlatko and to get to know him. I think it’s fair to say that he is everything you could want in a head coach.
As a former player himself, he knows how the right coach can motivate players to be their best. As a coach in the NWSL for all seven of its seasons, he led his teams to the playoffs five times and to back-to-back championships. And just the other day he was named NWSL Coach of the Year, for the second time. Vlatko is known for his deep understanding of the game, unmatched preparation and his tactical flexibility.
I cannot imagine a more perfect match than this coach for this team at this moment. In the NWSL, Vlatko has already coached several players on our women’s team. They know each other, they respect each other, and they know how to win.
After four World Cup championships, some may ask what’s next? As I’ve said before, more countries are investing in women’s programs. The competition is only going to get more intense. The years ahead won’t be a time for resting on our laurels but for reaching even higher.
So, Vlatko, to you and to your family – thank you for taking on this new assignment. Congratulations, and welcome to U.S. Soccer!