Vlatko Andonovski has brought on Milan Ivanovic as an assistant coach with the US women’s national team. Ivanovic worked with Andnovski at the Reign, and before that, at FC Kansas City. Ivanovic hails from Serbia, where he played lower division soccer at Lokomotiva Belgrade before coming to the US to play professional indoor soccer with the Kansas City Comets. He also met Andonovski there and transitioned to AC of a pro team after coming from a youth coaching background.
Ivanovic primarily worked with the midfielders on the Reign; perhaps the same dynamic will play out here as Andonovski adds his own focus on the defenders. Both of these combos could raise interesting questions; the USWNT defense has been cause for some concern recently between the thinning pool of fullbacks and the impending end of the Becky Sauerbrunn Era. Meanwhile, the USWNT midfield pool is one of the strongest in the world. How will Andonvoski and Ivanovic interact with these two subsets of players and then integrate them into the whole team? We may get hints at the overall new look of the USWNT as the team is currently in camp ahead of their two November friendlies, but Andonovksi may not be interested in rocking the boat too much too soon. It’s all very exciting, waiting to see what direction he decides to take.
We’ll also see if and how the coaching staff integrates the new and young players in camp, between Imani Dorsey, Midge Purce, Aubrey Bledsoe, Alana Cook, and Andi Sullivan.
US Soccer has already said that WNT fitness coach Dawn Scott and and goalkeeper coach Graeme Abel will stay on. Grant Wahl reported that Andonovski was looking for two assistant coaches; Ivanovic fills one slot, leaving one open for someone who presumably be working with the forwards. Will he look to the ranks of NWSL ACs? Perhaps someone from the college game? Or will USSF lure someone from another NT? Let us know in the comments who you’d like to see filling out the WNT coaching staff.