It was once the biggest job in the women's game, and perhaps it still is. The United States women's national team is looking for a new head coach to usher in a new era but, strangely enough, there isn't an obvious candidate out there.
Vlatko Andonovski is gone after a disastrous 2022 World Cup that saw the U.S. eliminated in the last 16. The moment the USWNT fell to Sweden, Andonovski's fate was sealed. There would be no second cycle, no Olympics; this team was onto something new.
Whichever coach comes in will face a massive task in rebuilding a fallen juggernaut. There's no debating that the USWNT regressed under Andonovski, although how much is up for debate. Did the rest of the world catch up completely or did the USWNT never quite find the level needed to be, well, the USWNT?
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. This is a team and a player pool still loaded with talent, but also one that needs some tweaks. The USWNT's mentality and athleticism aren't enough to overwhelm teams anymore and, as several key veterans prepare for their exits from the international stage, it'll be up to a new head coach to build this team around several new stars.
With the 2024 Olympics just a year away, that new coach won't have too much time to put their stamp on things before a major tournament begins. Even with what we saw this summer, though, the USWNT will be among the favorites in Paris, especially if the new coach can make even the slightest tweaks to the factors that let the USWNT down this summer.
So who might that coach be? GOAL takes a look at some of the candidates to replace Andonovski: