US Soccer made official on Thursday what had been clear ever since women’s national team did my worst world Cup Performance so far this summer: The four-time champion will get a new leader,

“Vlatko Andonovski has left his position as head coach,” the federation announced in a statement.

It’s not a firing — not technically, though sources told Fox Sports that the decision to part ways was mutual. Andonovski’s contract was due to expire at the end of this year and will certainly not be renewed after a disappointing four-year stint that yielded only one Olympic bronze medal for the program that won her four World Cups in addition to those four. Won the Gold – winning half of the major tournaments ever contested.

USSF Director Matt Crocker named Twyla Kilgore as interim head coach until a permanent appointment is made. Kilgore, who served as an assistant under Andonovski through 2021, will be at the helm for at least the team’s next two games, a pair of exhibition matches at home. South Africa, The US women will also play friendly matches in October and December.

“It has been the honor of my life to coach talented, hard working players USWNT for the past four years,” Andonovski said in the press release. “I am very optimistic for the future of this program, especially considering all the young players who have had opportunities over the past few years, who are undoubtedly leaders and Will be an impressive player moving forward. Although we are all disappointed with the outcome of this year’s World Cup, I am extremely proud of the progress this team has made, the support they have shown for each other and the inspiration they have given to players around the world.”

“All of us at US Soccer thank Vlatko for her dedication to our women’s national team over the past four years,” Crocker said. “Vlatko has worked tirelessly for this team and has been a strong and positive leader for our women’s program. We are grateful for all she has contributed.”

USWNT were pulled from Australia-New Zealand 2023 on 6 August Sweden beat them on penalties after a scoreless draw. The two-time defending champions had never finished worse than third in a previous World Cup.

What’s next for the USWNT? , 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Goal scoring was difficult for Andonovski’s side throughout the competition; After missing numerous chances in World Cup opening 3-0 win, badly drawn draw VietnamThe US could only manage one goal in their last three matches.

As part of her evaluation of the USWNT after the tournament, Crocker is expected to conduct an extensive search for a manager to lead the Americans through the 2027 Women’s World Cup — an event that could be held in the U.S. Crocker They have little time, however, with the Olympics in Paris next summer only 11 months away.

There will be no dearth of candidates to fill the high-profile position. “The US women’s national team is probably the top-ranked team in the world,” Laura Harvey, who narrowly trailed Andonovsky for the position in 2019, said earlier this month. Harvey, coach of the NWSL official language rule, is likely to be vigorous consideration once again. Similar is the case for Australia coach Tony Gustavsson, who served as a top assistant to then USWNT boss Jill Ellis on the World Cup-winning 2015 and 2019 squads.

[Related: USWNT coaching candidates: 10 potential names to replace Vlatko Andonovski]

Whoever is chosen, the next coach will preside over a program that is in dire need of major changes. 2023 USWNT stuck between generations with legends like 2015 Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan And megan rapino on one end and the youth like trinity rodman, sophia smith And alyssa thompson on the other. And as the ongoing World Cup below has shown, competition at the top of international women’s football has never been so fierce. perennial title contenders Brazil, Canada And Germany All players lost to the United States in the group stage. finals on sunday England And spain (Coverage begins at 5 a.m. ET Kickoff at 6PM ET on Fox and the Fox Sports App) will crown the title list for the first time.

Despite missing several projected starting players due to injury, America was clearly still talented enough to play better – far better – than it did this summer. Ultimately that’s why Andonovsky is out.

“We are excited about the road ahead,” Crocker said. “We understand the challenges and have engaged with stakeholders from different parts of our game – players, coaches and other individuals across the football landscape. The insights and perspectives gathered during these discussions have been instrumental in shaping our forward-looking plan.

“Our commitment to excellence is unwavering,” he added. “We believe this strategic plan will lay the foundation for our women’s national team to achieve greater heights in the years to come.”

Doug McIntyre is a football writer for Fox Sports. Prior to joining Fox Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @by Doug McIntyre,

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