Emma Hayes: Chelsea boss to take charge of USA women when WSL season ends

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Emma Hayes on the touchline of a Chelsea game

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has been named the new manager of the United States women’s national team and will take charge when the Women’s Super League season ends in May.

The Blues announced on Saturday that Hayes would pursue “a new opportunity outside the WSL and club football”.

Hayes, 47, who started her managerial career in the USA, has won 13 major trophies since joining the WSL in 2012.

She said her feelings for the US team and the country “run deep”.

“This is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in world football history,” Hayes added.

“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 US Soccer Federation.”

Hayes will be highest-paid women’s football coach in world. 

US Soccer president Cindy Parlow called Hayes a “fantastic leader” and a “world class coach who sets high standards for herself and for everyone around her”.

“She has tremendous energy and an insatiable will to win,” said Parlow.

“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.”

Hayes will take over when she finishes with Chelsea, with the WSL season ending on 18 May 2024, while the Women’s Champions League final takes place on 25 May.

She will then join up with the national side two months before the start of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which begin on 26 July 2024.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore will continue in her role and then join Hayes’ staff full-time as an assistant coach.

Hayes has won six WSL titles with Chelsea, including the past four in a row, while she has also won five FA Cups and the League Cup twice.

They won back-to-back tournaments in 2015 and 2019 under head coach Jill Ellis, but Vlatko Andonovski was unable to continue the USA’s dominance and subsequently resigned after the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Hayes’ first managerial post came between 2001 and 2003 with Long Island Lady Riders in the United States, before a spell with Iona College.

Arsenal came calling in 2006 when Hayes took up the post of assistant manager to Vik Akers, before she returned to America in 2008 to manage Chicago Red Stars.

“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 US society. I’ve lived it.”

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