FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City’s Vlatko Andonovski voted coach of the year in NWSL

FC Kansas City's inaugural season is over, but the awards keep piling on.

Blues coach Vlatko Andonovski was announced as the National Women's Soccer League coach of the year on Monday, two days after FC Kansas City was eliminated in the league semifinals.

FC Kansas City finished the regular season with 11 victories, tied for most in the league, though it was awarded the No. 2 seed after losing a tiebreaker.

Portland defeated FC Kansas City, 3-2, in a semifinal match on Saturday at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.

“I have to give this team lot of credit,” Andonovski said. “They showed how women's soccer should be played in this country. We lost some games because of that, and I know we ended up a step short, but this should just be motivation for us next season to make the extra step.”

In his first women's professional head coaching gig, Andonovski implemented a possession-oriented style — short passes rather than long plays — that seemed to provide an orderly fit for his team.

Midfielder Lauren Holiday especially thrived in the system, leading the league in goals and assists.

“I think Vlatko had a vision and he stuck to it,” Holiday said. “I think he did a great job of putting together the same style of players to fit the style of soccer he wanted to play.”

Andonovski is the fifth member of the Blues to win a postseason award. Holiday (Golden Boot), Becky Sauerbrunn (defender of the year), Erika Tymrak (rookie of the year) and Nicole Barnhart (goalie of the year) were honored last week.

FC Kansas City can make awards season a clean sweep on Tuesday, when the league’s most valuable player is announced.