EMMA HAYES has been named head coach of the US women’s team just weeks after she was linked to one of the most coveted jobs in football.
The confirmation of her appointment comes one evening before her Chelsea team’s opening game against Real Madrid.
Her move will make her the highest-paid coach in women’s football
Blues captain Millie Bright jokingly warned that she could be verbally “beaten” by Hayes if she and her teammates were distracted by her impending departure.
Bright, who faces Madrid in the group stage of the competition, said: “Knowing Emma, she wants us to do everything the same regardless of her departure.”
“That is the mentality and the values that she has anchored in all of us as players and in the club.”
“For us everything stays the same. If we behaved differently, I would definitely get a beating from her!”
“We know that we have to be focused and that it’s game by game.”
“We have to go out there and perform first and foremost and not look too far ahead. Just stay on our trail.”
On Tuesday night, USA Soccer introduced Hayes as the new boss of its four-time Women’s World Cup-winning team.
The news comes ten days after Chelsea announced that their long-serving coach would be leaving the club after 12 years at the helm of the WSL defending champions.
Commenting on her appointment, Hayes, 47, said: “It is a great honor to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in the history of world football.”
“The feelings and connection I have for this team and this country are deep.
“I have dreamed of coaching the USA for a long time and getting this opportunity is a dream come true.”
“I know there is still a lot to do to achieve our goal of consistently winning at the highest level.”
“Getting there will take dedication, commitment and collaboration from the players, staff and everyone at the U.S. Soccer Federation.”
Hayes is expected to take charge of the U.S. women’s team two months before the start of the 2024 Paris Olympics on July 24.
The Blues boss, who is leaving Chelsea at the end of next season, has so far led her current team to six Women’s Super League titles, six FA Cup triumphs and two League Cup victories.
And she also led the WSL giants to five league and cup doubles, as well as their first Champions League final of 2021.
Hayes’ appointment marks her third coaching role in the United States.
Her last job across the pond was as manager of the US premier women’s team Chicago Red Stars for two years, from 2008 to 2010.
US Soccer Cindy Parlow Cone said: “Emma is a fantastic leader and world-class coach who sets high standards for herself and everyone around her.”
“She has enormous energy and an insatiable will to win.
“Her experience in the United States, her understanding of our soccer landscape and her understanding of what it means to coach this team make her the ideal fit for this role.”
Other candidates for the post reportedly include former Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro, OL Reign gaffer Laura Harvey and Australia Women’s manager Tony Gustavsson.
Hayes’ coaching credentials and ability to motivate players and staff are said to have been among the key factors that led to her appointment.
US Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker said: “Her passion for the game, her coaching acumen, her ability to galvanize players and staff, her dedication to continue to evolve as a coach and her qualities as a person are all incredibly impressive.”
“She has a great appreciation for the legacy of this programme and embraces the big challenges ahead.”