The U.S. women’s national team has a new coach this time around at the World Cup, and co-captain Lindsey Horan outlined the differences between 2019 champion coach Jill Ellis and 2023 coach Vlatko Andonovski ahead of the tournament.
Some criticism has been leveled against Andonovski for his style of play, which differs from the one Ellis implemented to great success. But Horan applauded Andonovski for the value he places on possession.
“You have two coaches that maybe see the game in a little bit different way,” she said. “The way Jill managed us through the last World Cup was, you know, we’re going obviously out to win every single game and in the best way possible and we’re gonna play what the game brings us, what we can expose from different teams.”
Andonovski doesn’t bring a World Cup résumé, but he has worked with the team since Ellis’ departure after the 2019 tournament. Players have grown used to his different style in the last four years.
“Vlatko, in my sense, wants to play a certain way,” Horan said. “We know what teams bring, what threats they bring. But, we’re going to play our U.S. style: Here are our strengths. We’re going to play to our strengths.
“So there’s a mix of what we had during the last World Cup and what’s to come. I think you know Vlatko, I speak to him all the time about this, I think he values the ball. He values playing well and entertaining, but scoring as fast as possible and doing the most that we possibly can to win.”