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Vlatko Andonovski steps down as USWNT coach

What's next for USWNT after World Cup letdown?
Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards assess the fallout from the United States' early exit from the 2023 Women's World Cup, including the USWNT's new generation and the future of head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

Vlatko Andonovski is out as the USWNT head coach after guiding them to their worst-ever performance at a World Cup.

Andonovski’s side crashed out of the 2023 World Cup at the last 16 round. The USWNT had never previously failed to reach at least the semifinal stage in every single World Cup in history.

U.S. Soccer released a statement saying that they and Andonovski had ‘agreed to mutually part ways’ and thanked him for his ‘dedication’ and ‘tireless work’ as the USWNT head coach over the last four years, calling him a ‘positive leader for our women’s program.’

Speaking about his decision to move on, Andonovski thanked the players, staff and U.S. Soccer for the opportunity.

“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 said. “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.”

What, and who, next?

For now U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker has named Twila Kilgore as the interim head coach.

Kilgore has been an assistant coach for the last 18 months and is the first American-born women to hold U.S. Soccer’s Pro Coaching License.

While Crocker leads the search for a new head coach, one name will dominate the list: Sarina Wiegman.

The Dutch coach has led England to its first-ever World Cup final and won the European Championships with the Lionesses last summer. She also won the Euros with the Netherlands and took them to the World Cup final in 2019, where they lost to the USWNT.

Wiegman’s record of reaching the final in four-straight major tournaments is exceptional and her ruthless streak, flexible possession-based tactics and leadership is exactly what the USWNT will need as they head into a new era.