Andonovski Reflects on World Cup Exit, Eyes New Challenge with NWSL Return


Vlatko Andonovski’s return to Kansas City feels like a homecoming, not just in terms of geography, but in a deeper sense of belonging. 

As he prepares to lead the Kansas City Current in their NWSL season opener against the Portland Thorns, Andonovski is embracing the familiar embrace of club soccer, a realm where he feels truly in his element.

Since the NWSL preseason commenced six weeks ago, Andonovski has immersed himself in coaching, spending countless hours on the training pitch and analyzing practice footage late into the night. 

The continuous nature of club soccer resonates with him more than the intermittent rhythm of international competition, where breaks between tournaments disrupt the flow of coaching.

Vlatko Andonovski’s Return to Familiar Ground

Vlatko Andonovski’s return to Kansas City feels like a homecoming, not just in terms of geography, but in a deeper sense of belonging.

The specter of the 2023 World Cup looms large for Andonovski as he steps onto the touchline for the first time since that fateful night in Melbourne. 

The disappointment of the USWNT’s early exit prompted deep introspection, leading Andonovski to step away from the game momentarily to reassess his passion and purpose. 

Yet, amidst offers from various leagues and teams, his heart kept pulling him back to Kansas City, his adopted hometown since 2000.

Andonovski’s bond with Kansas City runs deep, from his avid support of the Chiefs to his reverence for local landmarks like Joe’s barbecue joint. 

The outpouring of support from fans upon his return underscores the profound connection he shares with the community.

A pivotal conversation with Kansas City Current co-owners Angie and Chris Long solidified Andonovski’s decision to return home. 

United by a shared vision of excellence, they are committed to building not just a formidable team but a legacy that transcends the field.

The unveiling of CPKC Stadium, funded largely by the Longs, marks a significant milestone in the evolution of NWSL infrastructure. 

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Andonovski’s NWSL Legacy and Vision for Kansas Cit

From humble beginnings at makeshift venues, the Current now boast state-of-the-art facilities befitting their ambition to redefine standards in women’s soccer.

Andonovski’s tenure with FC Kansas City, which yielded two NWSL championships, laid the groundwork for his return with a wealth of experience and success. 

However, he acknowledges the shifting landscape of the league, with increased investment and competition necessitating a fresh approach to coaching.

The parallels between the resources at his disposal in Kansas City and his previous role with the USWNT are evident, yet Andonovski embraces the distinct challenges of club soccer with renewed vigor. 

His coaching philosophy has evolved, shaped by the relentless pursuit of excellence demanded by the national team environment.

While reflections on the past linger, Andonovski remains focused on the present and future, steadfast in his belief in his abilities. 

His return to Kansas City is not about proving doubters wrong but reaffirming his commitment to his craft and those who have entrusted him with their faith.

As he embarks on this new chapter with the Kansas City Current, Vlatko Andonovski is driven by a singular purpose: to succeed on his own terms and write the next chapter of his coaching legacy with pride and determination.

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