The appointment of Emma Hayes as head coach of the US women’s national team has been confirmed.
The 47-year-old will lead Chelsea until the conclusion of the 2023–2024 campaign, at which point he will assume leadership of the team domestically. She takes over, replacing Vlatko Andonovski, who resigned as USWNT manager following the team’s dismal performance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Since taking over as Chelsea’s manager in 2012, Hayes has led the team to previously unheard-of levels of success. Under her direction, the Blues have won six WSL titles, including the past four in a row, and five Women’s FA Cups. Their most recent victory in the tournament came last season, when they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley.
In addition, she won the title of Best FIFA Women’s Coach in 2021, was admitted into the WSL Hall of Fame the same year, and received an MBE and an OBE in recognition of her accomplishments.
With the USWNT’s elimination from the World Cup in the round of 16—their worst-ever showing at the competition—Hayes will now take on what is probably the toughest challenge in women’s football: elevating the team back to the top of the international scene.
“This is a huge honor to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in world football history,” said Hayes.
“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.
“I understand how important this team is to the people and culture of the United States, not just the soccer community,” she continued. “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.”
She’s headed Stateside 🇺🇸
Welcome, Emma! pic.twitter.com/WYn6Sg9RmX
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) November 14, 2023
Hayes previously revealed how difficult it had been deciding to leave Chelsea for pastures new, particularly when it came to the telling players.
“I felt like I was abandoning my family. So, of course, my initial thoughts in these last few days were sadness but also pride,” she said. “It’s very unusual for a manager to be in one place the length of time I have. It’s more normal for the players to maybe change a little more often and probably most managers for that reason.
“Now I just feel so much pride for the club I represent, the team I represent, and I want to do everything possible to make sure we continue with the good work that’s been done in my time here.”