KC Current name Vlatko Andonovski as new coach: Will he help club set itself apart?

The Kansas City Current announced that former USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski will be their new coach for the 2024 NWSL season. Andonovski replaces outgoing interim coach Caroline Sjöblom, who took over for former coach Matt Potter in April.

Andonovski resigned from his post with the USWNT after the team underperformed at the World Cup. Still, his hiring at Kansas City is an optimistic one given his reputation for developing talent at the club level, as well as two previous national championships with FC Kansas City. He was also coach of the Reign for two seasons; under his direction they made playoffs in 2018 and 2019, finishing 3rd and 4th in the regular season respectively.

“Kansas City is home, and always will be,” said Andonovski via the club’s official press release. “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. 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.”

Is this a good hire for the Current?

Andonovski is a known quantity with proven success at the club level, albeit more from the earlier years of NWSL and with the presence of the iconic Lauren Holiday on his roster at that time. But there are certainly fond local memories from those successes, as well as Andonovski’s own reputation for being able to develop talent when he can work with players day to day as opposed to every few months as a national team coach, and that reputation seems to have carried weight in his hiring. Team owners Chris and Angie Long said via the team’s press release, “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.”

The Current are a club seeking to differentiate themselves however they can, particularly as a smaller market that may not have the glamor of an NYC or LA when trying to lure big-name signings. Adding the prospect of good long-term development, at least on paper, to their investment in facilities could be the sweetener that makes the difference for a top-class signing or draft pick.

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(Photo: Erick W. Rasco / Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

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