The USWNT and coach Vlatko Andonovski had huge hopes heading into the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, only to be knocked out in the round of 16 by Sweden. Now, the two sides have parted ways.
This tournament wasn’t the only letdown under the for the USWNT under Vlatko Andonovski. The team didn’t reach the gold medal game at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and haven’t looked like the best team in the world in quite some time.
Things came to a head at the World Cup, though. The team only won one of their four matches, a 3-0 win over Vietnam in their first matches. Three successive ties followed, with the team’s only goal after the first match coming in a 1-1 draw over the Netherlands. They actually played their best game of the tournament by far against Sweden, only for the Swedish goalkeeper to play a great match and keep the team scoreless. They would go on to lose in penalties, despite having multiple opportunities in the shootout to win.
BREAKING: The U.S. women's national soccer team coach resigned less than two weeks after the Americans' early exit from the World Cup, an AP source says. https://t.co/j4OmjKYq0l
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 17, 2023
That was probably a given, considering the disappointing World Cup. And, candidates are already being thrown around. One list is by Fox Sports. Take a look at some of the names.
-Former USWNT coach Jill Ellis
-Australia WNT coach and former Ellis Asssitant Tony Gustavsson
-Former USWNT coach and current Brazil USWNT coach Pia Sundhage
-Former Germany WNT coach and current England WNT coach Sarina Wiegman
Of those names, Ellis, Sundhage and Wiegman stand out. Ellis took a lot of criticism when she was the team’s coach from 2014-2019. But, she won both World Cups she coached the team in, and isn’t that the whole point. Sundhage was probably the most tactically proficient coach the USA has had recently, and if not for a choke in the final where the team had two late one goal leads, she also would’ve won a World Cup in 2011.
But, Wiegman is the best candidate. If there’s a better manager in the women’s game, I haven’t seen her. In fact, as England prepares to play Spain in the World Cup Final on Sunday, many England fans would love her to take over the men’s national team. England has been hurt by injuries and a red card suspension to many of their top players this tournament, yet they’re still in the final. They’re incredibly well-coached.
No matter what, odds are the next hire will be better than Vlatko Andonovski was.