U.S. Soccer has finalized an agreement to make Emma Hayes the next full-time head coach of the U.S. women’s national team.
The contract will make Hayes the highest-paid coach in the women’s game worldwide, the governing body said in its announcement Tuesday.
Hayes, a native of London, has coached Chelsea’s women’s team since 2012. She will stay with Chelsea through the end of the 2023-24 Women’s Super League season and join the USWNT officially in June — two months before the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Twila Kilgore will remain the USWNT’s interim head coach until then, when she will join Hayes’ staff as a full-time assistant coach.
“This is a huge honor to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in world football history,” Hayes said in a news release. “The feelings and connection I have for this team and for this country run deep. I’ve dreamed about coaching the USA for a long time so to get this opportunity is a dream come true. I know there is work to do to achieve our goals of winning consistently at the highest levels. To get there, it will require dedication, devotion and collaboration from the players, staff and everyone at the U.S. Soccer Federation.”
Hayes, 47, coached at various levels in the U.S. before joining Chelsea, including as head coach of the Chicago Red Stars 2008-10.
“I understand how important this team is to the people and culture of the United States, not just the soccer community,” said Hayes. “I fully understand the place this team has in U.S. society. I’ve lived it. I remember being a young coach working my way up through the system in the U.S. and watching all those young girls aspire to play on the U.S. Women’s National Team. For me, the honor in building on that legacy is part of my motivation, no question.”
The dynastic national team needed a new leader after coach Vlatko Andonovski resigned in mid-August following the squad’s disastrous performance at the Women’s World Cup.
The U.S. team was eliminated in the Round of 16 by losing to Sweden on penalty kicks. It marked the club’s earliest exit in tournament history.
Hayes has guided Chelsea to a number of trophies, including five Women’s Super League and Cup doubles and a treble in 2020-21, when Chelsea swept the league, the FA Cup and the League Cup.
“Emma is a fantastic leader and world class coach who sets high standards for herself and for everyone around her,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “She has tremendous energy and an insatiable will to win. Her experience in the USA, her understanding of our soccer landscape and her appreciation of what it means to coach this team makes her a natural fit for this role and we could not be more pleased to have her leading our Women’s National Team forward.”
–Field Level Media