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Andonovski and his USWNT new style

Attractive, attacking and aggressive: Andonovski's recipe for USWNT future success

February 11, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
U.S. Soccer could not have timed the arrival of Vlatko Andonovski as the USWNT head coach any better. Jill Ellis managed the USWNT for five years and won everything there is to win but it was time for a new philosophy.

Five years is a long time and lengthy managerial tenures tend to head in a stale direction. Some of the players grew tired of the Englishwoman and sought change after the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The change was made in October 2019 and Andonovski has not disappointed in his attempt to add a new style for this American team.

“If I have to describe it with three words it would be attractive, attacking and aggressive,” he said.

The Stars and Stripes have not conceded a goal since his appointment – six matches – and their narrowest victory has been the 3-0 win against Canada in the final of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. Nonetheless, the Macedonian-American said that the three “A’s” have not been met yet regardless of the results at the CWOQ. 

“I don’t think we’ve achieved it,” he said. “You can see moments; in some games more, some games less. We’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

USWNT statistics

Of course, the Stars and Striped won all five of their CWOQ matches scoring 25 goals and conceding 0 in the process. A very similar campaign compared to the 2016 CWOQ where the U.S. ended the tournament with 23 goals in favor and 0 against.

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The team had nine different scorers and 18 out of the 20 players in the roster started at least one game.

Midfielder Lindsey Horan led the USWNT in goals wit six, but it was forward Christen Press who was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. She scored in each game except for the final.

If these statistics mean moving in the right direction for Andonovski, then U.S. fans better be ready for one of the best versions of the USWNT.

The USA is 23-0-1 all-time in Olympic Qualifying and has scored 123 goals while allowing three.

USWNT squad depth

The USWNT always has depth. What matters are the decisions the coach makes in terms of who he picks for each tournament and how he uses each player. We can say that rotation in this tournament was a success.

Eighteen out of the 20 players in the roster started at least one game. Nine different players scored – Horan (6), Press (5), Sam Mewis (4), Lynn Williams (3), Jessica McDonald and Rose Lavelle (2), Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath (1). 

The addition of forward Lynn Williams was a clear win for Andonovski in this Olympic Qualifier. Williams impressed everyone including her manager by scoring three goals and assisting five. That is eight-goal involvements for the forward, tied for first with Horan in this tournament.

The fight for a spot in the 2020 Tokyo roster will be an interesting one with the competition just five months away. Players like Alex Morgan, who is set to give birth soon, and Mallory Pugh, who was not chosen by Andonovski for this prior tournament, will do whatever they can to win back their spot squad.


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