Vlatko Andonovski Jun 27, 2023; Carson, Calif., USA; Vlatko Andonovski speaks at the USWNT World Cup Media day on June 27, 2023. The U.S. Women’s National Team hosts a media day before the World Cup. The U.S. women are looking to defend their title for the third-straight World Cup. at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY

The United States Women’s National Team narrowly advanced to the knockout round of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday with an uninspiring scoreless draw against Portugal, leading to some heavy criticism from USWNT legend Carli Lloyd. And now, head coach Vlatko Andonovski has responded to that critique.

Following the match, Lloyd – now an analyst for Fox – did not hold back in blasting the team’s mentality, especially after the team was seen dancing and smiling on the field despite nearly being eliminated by a Portugal shot that bounced off the post in stoppage time.

Andonovski was not happy with Lloyd’s critique, calling her comments “insane.”

“The one thing that I want to say is that this team wanted to win this game more than anything else. They put everything they could in preparation for this tournament, and in every game that it goes,” Andonovski said in response to Lloyd’s comments. “So to question that mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete – I think it’s insane.”

Andonovski made it clear that Lloyd is well within her rights to criticize the team, but he does not agree with her assessment.

“I’ve seen this team step on the field and not try hard or not compete,” Andonovski said. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. They can say whatever they want. But I just know how this team feels.”

And while he may not have agreed with Lloyd’s characterization of the team, he did acknowledge that the team did not play as well as he would have hoped.

“It’s not like we played well by any means,” Andonovski said. “We owned it. We know it’s not good enough. We’re not happy with our performance. But we qualified for the next round – we’re moving on.”

[Fox Soccer]