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Fuel Soccer Talk: New USWNT coach worked hard to get to where he is; U-17 men begin World Cup; Video Lesson – Finishing the deal

Strong work ethic a key to Andonovski’s success on and off the pitch

Vlatko Andonovski was named as the ninth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history this week replacing Jill Ellis as the head of the greatest women’s soccer team on the planet. Andonovski, 43, comes to U.S. Soccer after serving as a head coach during all seven seasons of the National Women’s Soccer League, a stint which included two championships with FC Kansas City (2014 and 2015). He spent five seasons with FC Kansas City (2013-2017) and the last two with Reign FC (2018-2019). He was twice named NWSL Coach of the Year, in 2013 and again after the just completed 2019 season.

But there are a few things that really stand out about the new coach. And you can find that out by listening closely to what people are saying about him. And young soccer players and coaches can learn how to take their game to the next level (maybe someday the highest level) just by understanding a few basic qualities that help get you to the top.

U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro described Andonovski as “one of the most accomplished coaches in the NWSL history.” But how did he get there? Listen up. “He is widely respected by players and leaders across our soccer community, and he has the work ethic and winning mentality to guide the greatest women’s soccer program in history into their next era of success,” Cordeiro said. He also talked about the coach’s “unmatched preparation.”

It doesn’t all come down to hard work, but it’s a great place to start. Simply outwork and out prepare your opponent and good things will happen. Or in this case, great things will happen.

 

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team in World Cup

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Senegal (a 3-1 loss). The tournament represents the culmination of a two-year cycle, as the U-17s have put together a 17-8-5 international record since Dec. 2017. Participating in a record 17th FIFA U-17 World Cup, the USA continues Group D play on Wednesday, Oct. 30 vs. Japan (7:50 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo) and wraps up the group stage on Saturday, Nov. 2 vs. Netherlands (7:50 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo).

The USA’s first two games will be played at Estadio Kleber Andrade in Cariacica on Brazil’s southeastern coast, while the final group game will be played at Estadio da Serrinha in Goiania, about 125 miles southwest of Brasilia. Follow the U-17 MNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, Twitter and Instagram.

A number of players on the World Cup squad arrived in South America after reaching milestones at the club level.

Forward Gianluca Busio will enter the World Cup as the USA’s most-experienced professional ever at this tournament after making 22 appearances for Sporting Kansas City this season. Forward Ricardo Pepi bagged a brace in the USL League One Championship Semifinals just before leaving for Brazil, finishing the regular season as the league’s fifth-leading scorer. Defenders George Bello and Joe Scally as well as midfielder Daniel Leyva netted their first goals of the season in the lead-up to Brazil. Leyva’s tally was his first professional goal.

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Send story ideas, comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net