The leadership overhaul in the US women’s national team setup continued on Friday when it was revealed that general manager Kate Markgraf will step down from her role at the end of the month.
“It has been an incredible honor to work with the players, coaches and staff at US Soccer on the mission of keeping our program at the top of the women’s game,” Markgraf said in a release. “I am proud of the foundation we have built, and even more proud of the character and commitment demonstrated by our players as they represent the United States on and off the field.”
The Equalizer was first to report the news, citing multiple sources, adding that Markgraf’s contract expires at the end of August and her decision to not return was made before the Women’s World Cup.
The confirmation of Markgraf’s depature came one day after manager Vlatko Andonovski’s resignation was made official. The Americans were eliminated on penalties by Sweden in the round of 16, the program’s earliest ever exit at a Women’s World Cup.
Markgraf, a longtime defender with the USWNT and a starter on the 1999 team that won the World Cup at the Rose Bowl, was in charge of hiring coaches, as well as technical and administrative staffs, for the youth and senior women’s teams, and creating and managing the technical plans and performance standards for those teams.
“Kate has been an instrumental part of Women’s National Team both on and off the field for many years, and we’re very thankful for the tireless work she has given to the USWNT and all our Youth National Teams,” US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said. “We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to building on the foundation she helped establish over the past several years.”
Markgraf, 42, appeared in 201 games during a playing career that spanned 12 years, also appearing on the 2003 and 2007 World Cup squads and three Olympic teams. She played club soccer for the Boston Breakers of the WUSA and the Chicago Red Stars of the WPS.
Following her retirement, she pursued a pair of master’s degrees and worked as a broadcaster, most recently for ESPN.
“There’s been a lot of great work that has been done by the sporting staff on the women’s side of the game at US Soccer, which means we are starting from a position of strength,” Crocker said. “We’re looking forward to building on what has been created already, and ensuring we can continue to improve by setting a strategic plan will set the foundation for our Women’s National Team to achieve greater success in the years to come.”