Despite stumbling in his first big test in charge of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, Vlatko Andonovski is expected to return as head coach and begin preparing for the 2023 World Cup, U.S. Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone said Saturday.

The federation’s evaluation of the Olympic shortfalls — a three-goal defeat to Sweden in the group opener, a semifinal loss to Canada and a bronze medal — has just gotten started, Parlow Cone said.

The federation is “taking a deep dive on the Olympics,” Parlow Cone said, but “I fully expect Vlatko to continue as our coach of the national team.”

She paused and, with a laugh, added, “unless he decides otherwise.”

Andonovski, 44, succeeded Jill Ellis, a two-time World Cup champion, in fall 2019. He is under contract through the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Entering the Olympics, Andonovski carried a 22-0-1 record. But the top-ranked Americans were routed in their group debut by Sweden, ending a 44-game unbeaten streak over 2½ years.

After defeating New Zealand and drawing with Australia, they finished second in the group. A quarterfinal triumph over the Netherlands in a penalty kick shootout was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Canada, ending a 20-year unbeaten run in the series.

The United States, which has not won the gold medal since 2012, defeated Australia in the bronze-medal match, 4-2.

Andonovski received some criticism for relying on an aging core of players, and the team did not perform with its usual precision and ruthlessness. Since the Olympics ended, Carli Lloyd, a 39-year-old forward, announced she will retire this fall and Megan Rapinoe, 36, said she is evaluating her future.

The U.S. squad will play four friendlies in September and October, a farewell for some outgoing players and further integration of others. The team’s next important competition is next summer’s Concacaf W Championship, which will serve as qualifying for the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“After every event, we do a full breakdown on the evaluation of the team and how we can get better and further areas for improvement,” Parlow Cone said of the program at large. “That is just starting now.”

Notes: Parlow Cone, a former U.S. national team star and the USSF’s first female president, said she will seek reelection in March. She accepted the role in March 2020 after Carlos Cordeiro’s resignation amid an uproar over the USSF’s handling of gender equity issues.

“I feel like there is a lot left to do,” Parlow Cone said. “I’ve spent my entire presidency [in pandemic times], which everyone knows the challenges that presents, but I think we are moving the federation in a new direction with our new leadership.”

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