The United States Women’s National has not yet officially moved on from coach Vlatko Andonovski, but all signs point to the program making a move after its disappointing World Cup performance.
Brandi Chastain, the legendary USWNT forward and defender, in an appearance on the The 91st acknowledged to hosts Midge Purce and Katie Nolan that she is “not ready” but would “love to lead this national team some time in the future.”
“I’ve been asking to participate with our youth national teams for a while and have not gotten any traction,” she said. “I’m an A-licensed coach, I’ve been a volunteer at Santa Clara University probably for about 25 years, I coach youth soccer, I’ve been on the national team for 192 caps.”
Andonovski was hired in 2019 to replace Jill Ellis, who led the USWNT to back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019. In his first major test, the team finished third at the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo. Andonovski’s team was then knocked out in the Round of 16 at this year’s World Cup, triggering speculation about his dismissal.
Chastain refrained from naming any potential replacements but described what she believes the program needs in a leader.
“We have to have someone who is a risk taker, and also can hold their ground in this respectful way with the players,” Chastain said. “This is about respect, and this is about the game, and this is about putting together a gameplan and putting players in positions to be successful.”
Chastain recalled how former USWNT coach Tony DiCicco called on Chastain to play left back instead of forward in her later years on the USWNT.
“I had been away already from the national team and I knew what that felt like, and I wanted to be back in that mix,” Chastain said. “I figured he wouldn’t put me in a position that he didn’t feel I could be successful in, or I wouldn’t be able to contribute. So I took a chance.
“I think those are the kinds of things we need to do. We need to look at ourselves and be creative. We need to take risks.”