A report from the BBC this morning seemingly indicated that current Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team, although U.S. Soccer denies that anything is close to official at this time. Ride of the Valkyries has independently confirmed this with U.S. Soccer and a source close to the Reign.
Andonovski has long been thought to be on the short list to replace Jill Ellis, who stepped down from the position at the end of the World Cup victory tour earlier this month. New USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf, who has responsibility for the search, name-checked him as a potential replacement while she was still a TV analyst at ESPN.
Also previously mentioned by Markgraf was former Reign FC coach and current Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey, but Harvey announced on Saturday that she will not be the next head coach of the national team and instead plans to stay with Utah.
Other potential names mentioned by Markgraf and others close to the search included North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley, Portland Thorns FC coach Mark Parsons, and Florida State University coach Mark Krikorian, but all have since indicated that they were either not contacted by U.S. Soccer or do not want to be considered.
It is thought that no official announcements will come until after the conclusion of the NWSL playoffs, which start this Sunday with Andonovski and Reign FC facing North Carolina Courage and wrap up with the championship game on October 27. However, there is some urgency to naming a new coach, with the USWNT set to play Sweden on November 7 and Costa Rica on November 10, and the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled for late January.