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Vlatko Andonovski, former USWNT head coach, will return to NWSL with KC Current, per reports

Vlatko Andonovski, former USWNT head coach, will return to NWSL with KC Current, per reports

Callie Lawson-Freeman

Jun 27, 2023; Carson, California, USA; USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski at World Cup media day at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski is back in the NWSL. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

Vlatko Andonovski, former United States women’s national team head coach, is joining the NWSL’s Kansas City Current as head coach, according to multiple reports.

The 47-year-old is a greater Kansas City resident and will be the Current’s first permanent manager since April 19, when Matt Potter was fired. The club had an 8-12-2 record this season, finishing 11th in the 12-team league.

Caroline Sjoblom was the team’s interim coach, filling in during a completely different season than the team saw last year. The Current went from reaching the NWSL final and losing to the Portland Thorns 2-0 to not even making the playoffs.

Andonovski has experience winning NWSL titles in Kansas City. He managed the now-defunct FC Kansas City, leading them to back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015. The team relocated to Utah for three seasons before it returned ahead of the 2021 season with its current name. Andonovski also took on coaching duties for the Seattle-based Reign FC, now called the OL Reign. His time there earned him the Coach of the Year title in 2019, which he also won in 2013.

The NWSL return is Andonovski’s first position since he stepped down as manager of the USWNT in August. His exit came after the team’s round-of-16 exit at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. That loss on penalties to Sweden ended the worst finish at a major tournament in the program’s history.

Andonovski joined the U.S. team in October 2019, succeeding Jill Ellis. He notched a 51-5-9 record during his tenure which began on the heels of the USWNT’s second consecutive World Cup title. But he went 3-2-5 in major tournaments.

With the Current, Andonovski will be supported by a prominent ownership group. Owners Chris and Angie Long are joined by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife, Brittany, who invested back in 2021.

Their backing bolstered the team’s $15-million training center, which opened in June 2022. A new stadium with a $120-million price tag is also scheduled to open in 2024.

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