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Vlatko Andonovski joins Kansas City Current as head coach

(Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Vlatko Andonovski is the new head coach of the Kansas City Current, the club announced Monday.

The move represents a homecoming for Andonovski, 47, who served as the head coach of the NWSL’s former Kansas City club for five seasons and still lives in the area. He resigned in August as head coach of the U.S. women’s national team.

In his stint as USWNT head coach, he led the team to a 51-9-5 record (W-D-L), but his record at major tournaments was 3-5-2. He stepped down after leading the team to a disappointing Round of 16 exit at the 2023 World Cup, the earliest ever for the USWNT.

“While we are all disappointed by the outcome at this year’s World Cup, I am immensely proud of the progress this team has made, the support they’ve shown for each other, and the inspiration they’ve provided for players around the world,” he said in the news release announcing his departure.

Andonovski became head coach of the national team after a successful NWSL career, in which he accumulated a 64-36-39 record across seven seasons. He coached OL Reign from 2018 through 2019, and before that he led FC Kansas City from 2013 through 2017, when the team ceased operations. He won NWSL titles with FC Kansas City in 2014 and 2015.

FC Kansas City’s assets were transferred to the Utah Royals, which played in the NWSL from 2018 to 2020. At that point, the Royals ceased operations, and the assets were transferred to a new Kansas City expansion team: the Current.

The Current made a run to the NWSL Championship match in 2022, though they lost to the Portland Thorns in the title game. But they finished 11th out of 12 teams in 2023 after firing head coach Matt Potter just three games into the season. Andonovski takes the reins from interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vlatko to the Current,” Kansas City Current co-owners Angie Long and Chris Long said in a news release. “We talk all the time about our desire to be the best women’s football club in the world, with Vlatko that brings us one step closer to that goal. His football acumen and his penchant for developing talent will keep this team competitive on the world stage and make Kansas City a destination club for players across the world.”

In the team’s release, Andonovski called Kansas City “home.”

“This club is very ambitious, and they have an ownership group willing to do what it takes to meet their goals. I am grateful to Angie, Chris, Brittany and Patrick for this opportunity to lead my hometown team,” he said. “The fans here have always been passionate, and it has been so exciting to see them grow and make Kansas City one of the best atmospheres in the NWSL, and it will only get better in the new stadium.”

Former Angel City FC head coach Freya Coombe is in line to become Andonovski’s top assistant with the Current, the Washington Post’s Steven Goff reported.