The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Thursday that U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Vlatko Andonovski stepped down from his position as head coach. U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker has named Twila Kilgore as interim head coach.
“It’s been the honor of my life to coach the talented, hard-working players of the USWNT for the past four years,” said Andonovski via press release. “I’m very optimistic for the future of this program, 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 U.S. Soccer Federation for giving me the chance to coach this remarkable team.”
Andonovski took over the team in October 2019 after Jill Ellis stepped away and led the team to an overall 51-5-9 record. Under Andonovski, the U.S. won the She Believes Cup four straight years, and a CONCACAF Championship.
The problem was they failed in the two biggest tournaments. The U.S. took Bronze in a delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and then lost in the first knockout round of 2023 World Cup after not winning their group.
“All of us at U.S. Soccer thank Vlatko for his dedication to our Women’s National Team over the past four years,” said U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker via press release. “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 U.S. Soccer and know he has a bright future in the sport.”
“We want to extend our deepest gratitude to Vlatko for his dedication to the Women’s National Team,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “We know he will continue to contribute to the growth of the women’s game in the United States and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
While Crocker leads the search for a new USWNT head coach, assistant Twila Kilgore will be the interim head coach. Kilgore has been an assistant under Andonovski since February 2022. Kilgore was an assistant with the Houston Dash and in various training camps with the U.S. youth women’s national teams.
“It’s imperative that we continue to evolve and innovate, and we are excited about the path that lies ahead,” said Crocker. “We understand the challenges and have engaged with stakeholders from various corners of our sport – players, coaches, and other individuals within the soccer landscape. The insights and perspectives gathered during these discussions have been instrumental in shaping our forward-looking plan. Our commitment to excellence remains unshakeable, and we believe this strategic plan will set the foundation for our Women’s National Team to achieve greater heights in the years to come.”
Quickly in demand
When Andonovski was hired, he was a popular and successful NWSL coach. He won two NWSL Championships with FC Kansas City in 2014 and 2015 and was the NWSL Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2019. Andonovski is a proven club coach and was already receiving interest before he stepped away from coaching the U.S. team. He will be a hot commodity in the NWSL and beyond.