US Soccer just announced the new USWNT coach — here's everything you need to know about Vlatko Andonovski
The search for Ellis' replacement began shortly after she announced her retirement, and rumors swirled about the US Soccer federation's potential picks — including England manager Phil Neville, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro, NC Courage head coach Paul Reilly, and Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey.
On Sunday, Reilly led the the Courage to its second consecutive National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) championship with a 4-0 victory over Sam Kerr's Chicago Red Stars.
But ultimately, the US Soccer Federation went in a different direction, settling on Vlatko Andonovski as the next head coach of the United States Women's National Team.
The 43-year-old was recently named the NWSL Coach of the Year after leading the injury-laden Seattle Reign to their second consecutive playoff semifinal.
A number of current USWNT stars spoke highly of Andonovski to the federation. Megan Rapinoe, who currently plays for the Macedonian-American coach in Seattle, sang his praises before he was chosen for the job.
Andonovski took over the helm for the Reign in 2018, he coached the NWSL's FC Kansas City for four seasons and led them to back-to-back league championships before the club folded in 2017.
Today, Andonovski is known as the best tactical coach in the NWSL, which is widely regarded as the world's premier women's soccer league.
He has a reputation for developing his players and has a strong understanding of the US youth soccer system, from which the USWNT draws its talent.
The federation announced the pick on Monday afternoon with a press conference featuring Andonovski, US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, and USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf.
But Andonovski has his work cut out for him as he prepares to take over the helm of the world's best women's soccer team.
Starting defender Crystal Dunn may be sidelined for the USWNT's final friendlies of the year due to an ankle injury she sustained during Sunday's NWSL championship match.
Star striker Alex Morgan, who announced her pregnancy last week, may not return in time for the 2020 Olympics.
And 37-year-old USWNT legend Carli Lloyd, who publicly scorned Ellis for failing to start her during the team's 2019 World Cup run, has threatened to retire should she not play a larger role on the team in the 2020 Olympics.
Andonovski will have his first chance to gel with the current national team players next week as they take on Sweden and Costa Rica in their final two friendlies of the year.
Now read more on Carli Lloyd's plans to join the NFL after her soccer career comes to a close: