Vlatko Andonovski Called out by USWNT Fans After 2nd Straight Loss in Spain Friendly

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVOctober 11, 2022

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 11: Head coach Vlatko Andonovski of USA reacts during the Women's International Friendly match between Spain and USA at El Sadar Stadium on October 11, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Vlatko Andonovski's seat might be getting pretty warm.

The USWNT manager watched as his team lost 2-0 to Spain in an international on Tuesday, the country's second straight loss after falling to defending European champions England 2-1 four days ago.

espnW @espnW

Spain takes the lead against the USWNT‼️ <a href="https://t.co/Iz2czPnsdv">pic.twitter.com/Iz2czPnsdv</a>

espnW @espnW

What a TOUCH 😤<br><br>Spain makes it 2-0 over USWNT! <a href="https://t.co/qEq8IxpRsv">pic.twitter.com/qEq8IxpRsv</a>

OptaJack⚽️ @OptaJack

3 - The <a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> has conceded in three straight matches after conceding just two total goals in its previous 19 matches dating back to September 2021. Concern. <a href="https://t.co/ODTjBwJhyj">pic.twitter.com/ODTjBwJhyj</a>

And USWNT fans weren't happy with the performance, with many placing the responsibility squarely on Andonovski's shoulders:

Meg Linehan @itsmeglinehan

US mentals are just not there but this is the ~smack in the face~ game that France in France 2019 was, imo. Completely underwhelming performance, with understandable larger context of the week.

Meg Linehan @itsmeglinehan

You have a team that, for years, was used to building within a consistent XI and feeling the security of a role (well, relatively). Changing that approach is a project and I think it was one of the underlying causes of the Oly performance. <br><br>The body language rn though... woof.

Ellston Logan @EllstonLogan

The spirit has gone from this team. I know there are reasons for that, but HOW MANY EXCUSES DOES VLATKO GET.<br><br>HOW MANY EXCUSES? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a>

RJ Allen @ASoccerPundit

Every time I watch the USWNT lately I feel like we're learning less about the players and more about the coaching ideology but it's somehow getting murkier instead of clearer what the plan is.

RJ Allen @ASoccerPundit

Talent isn't an issue for the USWNT. They have it in abundance. <br><br>From the outside looking in the problem's there is no flow, no clear cut expectations and no support for the system the coaches want them to play.<br><br>That's not even touching who is playing where and why it's weird.

Kiesha 🐘 @TheJediGoddess

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> has been on a downward spiral since Vlatko took over. He's a super nice guy but not a great fit for the national team.

The Mane Land @TheManeLand

USWNT is trying to get Vlatko fired, I guess.

yoselin @yoselinn29

If Vlatko doesn’t get the boot after this, we can kiss the World Cup goodbyeeeeee

Christine DeRosa (she/her) @ChristineDeRos7

You know the USWNT match isn't going well when you refresh Twitter to check on case updates and see "Vlatko" trending

Steph @gayinKcK

Vlatko has ruined the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> and you can't convince me otherwise. When they don't get through the quarters in the World Cup, hopefully the team can start to rebuild correctly. Unfortunately it'll be too late for many players that deserve to be on the team now.

Andrea Lott @DrAndreaLott

The way Vlatko has not only held the USWNT back but pushed them backwards is amazing. They went from the best in the world to being unable to handle Spain. He has to be out before the World Cup. There is no debate.

It's impossible to ignore the context that this game was being played in the aftermath of the report released last week by former U.S. deputy attorney general Sally Yates, who found that the NWSL fostered a systemic, toxic culture for its players. Yates had been commissioned by the league and U.S. Soccer to investigate following numerous reports of sexual, emotional and verbal abuse of players.

"Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct—verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct—had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims," a summary of the investigation stated. "Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women's soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players."

It was also a younger USWNT roster that was missing a number of veterans for the European trip.

But the expectations for the two-time defending World Cup champions are much higher than a 2-0 loss to Spain, regardless of the circumstances, especially since Spain itself was playing without 15 senior players who have refused to play because they are not happy with the state of the team and how it's being run by the Spanish federation and head coach Jorge Vilda.

Losing back-to-back games is not the standard for the USWNT. Since underwhelming at the Tokyo Olympics, winning only bronze, there have been questions about whether Andonovski was the right person for the job.

With the 2023 World Cup looming in July 2023, Andonovski has a lot to prove.