USWNT appoints Chelsea's Emma Hayes as next head coach

Hayes won't take over until May following the conclusion of the Women's Super League season


READING, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Chelsea Head Coach Emma Hayes celebrates with the Women’s Super League Trophy after the FA Women’s Super League match between Reading and Chelsea at Select Car Leasing Stadium on May 27, 2023 in Reading, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The U.S. women's national team aimed high and landed a top target.

The USWNT on Tuesday announced Emma Hayes as the squad's next head coach, a few months after Vlatko Andonovski stepped down following a disappointing 2023 World Cup exit.

Hayes, who is currently managing Chelsea of the Women's Super League in England, will be the nation's 10th full-time head coach in program history.

Contract figures were not made public, but the USWNT said Hayes is set to become the highest-paid women's soccer coach in the world.

“This is a huge honor to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in world football history,” Hayes said in a statement. “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 won't take over until May of 2024 when Chelsea's season concludes, giving her two months with the team before the Paris Games. The U.S. has four games scheduled in between. Twila Kilgore will continue as the interim and will remain on Hayes' staff in May.

The 47-year-old Hayes, who grew up in London, started her coaching career in the United States with the Long Island Rough Riders in 2001. She gradually worked her way up with stints at Arsenal in England from 2006 to 2008 and the Chicago Red Stars (now of the NWSL) from 2008 to 2010.

Hayes joined Chelsea in 2012 and has been there since, leading the club to six Women’s Super League titles, one WSL Spring Series title, five Women’s FA Cups and two FA Women’s League Cups.

Chelsea also made the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in 2021 under Hayes, and she was named The Best FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year for 2021. She is a finalist for the award in 2023. 

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