Vlatko Andonovski has worn several hats during his time as a soccer coach in Kansas City. But he is stepping down from one role, head coach of the Missouri Comets, to focus all his attention on his other, as head coach of FC Kansas City. He will also remain as FCKC’s youth soccer technical director.
The Comets, a team in the Major Indoor Soccer League that Andonovski previously played for, won the 2014 league championship under his reign. Before joining the MISL, the Comets went 40-7 in the Major Arena Soccer League under Andonovski.
Andonovski said he made his decision months ago to step down from the Comets, but things were made official on Wednesday. His time — split between two teams year-round — was stretched too thin.
“If you look at the seasons, the games themselves don’t really overlap at all, but the problem is, once the women’s season finishes, that’s when most of my work is done in terms of recruiting, analyzing players for the draft, getting ready for the preseason, and that’s when the Comets’ season was going on,” Andonovski said. “And even vice versa, for the men’s season I wanted to get ready for their season, and it was right in the middle of the women’s season.”
FC Kansas City’s National Women’s Soccer League schedule runs from March (preseason training) to October (when the league’s championship is played). The Comets’ season runs from November to March.
“Even before this season (for FCKC), I knew it would be challenging, and I wanted to give my full attention to it,” Andonovski said. “Coming into next season will be just as important to have 100 percent focus, and to use all my resources to get them back to championship contenders. … It’s been tough to coach both teams at the same time and I thought there would be some point where I would have to choose one.”
This season has been somewhat of a rebuilding year for FCKC, which has won the past two NWSL championships. Heading into the Olympic break, the Blues are 4-7-4 and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Meanwhile, the Comets have had a similar level of success under Andonovski, twice making the Eastern Conference finals in the MISL and winning the 2014 championship.
Andonovski, 39, played for the Comets (then called the Kansas City Comets) from 2001-05, and was the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2005.
“The Comets are the reason I’m in Kansas City,” Andonovski said. “Number one, I’m a Comets fan, regardless of whether I’m a coach or player or not. The Comets will always have a spot in my heart. It was not an easy decision, but I will be there for the club and organization no matter what.”