Emma Hayes has officially been appointed as the new head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, marking a historic move in women’s football. At 47, Hayes has secured a groundbreaking deal, making her the highest-paid coach in the women’s football arena. While she remains committed to Chelsea until the conclusion of the current Women’s Super League (WSL) season, she is set to commence her role in May, just in time for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) announced the news on Tuesday, expressing their enthusiasm for the future under Hayes’ leadership. USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone commended Hayes as a “fantastic leader and world-class coach” with high standards, tremendous energy, and an unwavering determination to win. Cone highlighted Hayes’ understanding of the U.S. soccer landscape and her alignment with the team’s goals, making her a natural fit for the position.
Having steered Chelsea to an impressive six WSL titles, Hayes expressed her deep honor at the opportunity to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team, acknowledging the historical significance of the team in world football. She emphasized her dream of coaching the USA and recognized the challenges ahead in achieving consistent success at the highest levels. Hayes stressed the importance of dedication, devotion, and collaboration from players, staff, and everyone involved with the U.S. Soccer Federation to reach their goals.
The USSF, which secured equal pay for its men’s and women’s senior national team players in 2022, will align Hayes’ salary with that of USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter. The federation revealed the meticulous process, led by sporting director Matt Crocker, in selecting Hayes, including rigorous testing and evaluations for candidates.
Hayes, who had kept mum about the USWNT job after confirming her departure from Chelsea, cited family reasons and a desire to leave at the peak of her career. Chelsea, supportive of her decision, waived any compensation from the USSF for her exclusive commitment to completing the season. Hayes will play a crucial role in selecting her Chelsea successor, and the club is eager to explore how her international role could bring new growth opportunities.
Twila Kilgore, the interim head coach of the USWNT following Vlatko Andonovski’s resignation, will continue leading the team until Hayes officially takes the helm. The transition is scheduled to coincide with the conclusion of the 2023-24 WSL season on May 18, 2024, just before the women’s football tournaments at the Paris Olympics, scheduled between July 24 and August 10.