U.S. women's national team players who
played for Vlatko Andonovski at FC Kansas City and Reign FC were effusive in their praise for the 43-year-old Macedonian who was announced as their new coach on Monday.
“He’s probably one of the most intelligent soccer brains that I’ve ever come across,” Allie Long, who played for Andonovski on Reign FC told Once a Metro. Reign FC teammate Megan Rapinoe praised Andonovski for his ability to connect with every player on his roster, "to meet them where they’re at," she told ESPN, on the depth chart.
Andonovski will have to take a hard look at the depth chart on the national team and make some very tough decisions as he builds his team next year for its big challenge: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The USA took 23 players to the 2019 Women's World Cup, where it successfully defended its title, but it will only be able to take 18 players (with two goalkeepers) to Japan next summer, assuming it advances from the Olympic qualifying tournament at which teams will be able to bring 20 players (with three goalkeepers).
Andonovski will get to work next week as the USA will play its last two games of the year: against Sweden on Nov. 7 in Columbus, Ohio, and Costa Rica on Nov. 10 in Jacksonville, Florida.
He announced plans for an ID camp in December to take a look at players currently not on the national team.
The first quarter of 2020 will be busy with a camp in January followed by Concacaf qualifying at the end of January and beginning of February and the SheBelieves Cup during the FIFA window March 2-11.
After that, there will be only two windows -- April 6-12 and June 1-10 -- before the Olympic women's soccer begins on July 22.