Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes Named As Next USWNT Head Coach

The 47-year-old will swap west London for the States at the end of the WSL season
10:00, 15 Nov 2023

Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes has been named as the new manager of the United States Women’s national team. The appointment is huge for both parties. Hayes takes on a team that have consistently proven themselves as the greatest national side in the world. Meanwhile, The Stars and Stripes have secured one of the most decorated head coaches working in the sport today. 

Given the lopsided nature of the football landscape, many had envisaged Hayes taking charge of a men’s team when she eventually departed west London. But in a sport that is behind the times when it comes to equality, the 47-year-old would have been unlikely to secure an appointment befitting her standing in the game. After all, why should a six-time Women’s Super League winning manager have to “prove” herself further down the football pyramid? Is a decade of silverware and outstanding achievement not enough? Why should a coach like Hayes have to moonlight in League Two and work back up to bigger jobs?


When you talk about big jobs, the US manager’s role is arguably the biggest in the women’s game. USWNT are the most successful World Cup team in history. They have won the competition four times, been runners-up once and won the third-place play-off three times. It is the team’s underperformance at the 2023 edition that has necessitated a change in direction for the US side.

For the first time in their history, the US finished outside the medal places at the World Cup this year. Sweden dramatically eliminated them on penalties at the round of 16 stage. Less than a fortnight later, manager Vlatko Andonovski resigned from his role. Overseeing the States’ worst ever Women’s World Cup performance was not something the coach could recover from.

Hayes is the sort of elite appointment that can serve as a statement of intent for the US national side. One of the true greats of the club game, it was only a matter of time before the 47-year-old tested herself on the international stage. Hayes has a kinship with and understanding of the American sport too.


Hayes’ coaching career began at the Long Island Lady Riders in the state of New York. From there she went on to become the head coach of women’s soccer at Iona College in Westchester. After a spell as assistant manager and academy director at Arsenal, Hayes returned to America again to helm Chicago Red Stars. From the grass roots game to the college system up to the elite level, Hayes has a broad knowledge of the American sport at all levels. This isn’t just a case of picking a big name. The USWNT have taken care to appoint a coach who suits the sport in their country.

Of course those WSL achievements are still writ large. Hayes has six league titles and five FA Cups to her name at Chelsea. She has won The Best FIFA Football Coach and six WSL Manager of the Season awards. Emma’s incredible career has seen her honoured with an MBE and an OBE. In terms of modern football managers, Hayes stands among the very best.

It is why this appointment makes so much sense. Not only are USWNT getting one of the finest managers working today in any sector of the sport. But they are also getting a head coach who has an intrinsic understanding of the American game. Hayes will depart Chelsea at the end of the season and their fans will be gutted to see her go. But west London’s loss looks set to be America’s gain.

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