Is Emma Hayes Ready for the Challenge of Managing the United States National Team?
The Biggest Job in Women’s Football
The United States national team is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious positions in women’s football. With a rich history of success, global superstars, and abundant resources at their disposal, it is a dream job for many coaches. Now, it seems that Emma Hayes is ready to take on this formidable challenge.
A Successful Stint with Chelsea
Emma Hayes has spent 11 years managing Chelsea in the Women’s Super League (WSL) and has led them to an impressive 13 major trophies. However, she recently announced that “the time is right” for her to move on from her beloved club.
Last season, she secured a fourth successive WSL title with Chelsea before confirming her highly anticipated move to the USA national team. She will join up with the four-time world champions at the end of this season, just in time for the 2024 Olympic Games.
A Selfless Decision
In her first media address since announcing her departure from Chelsea, Hayes emphasized that while leaving was difficult, it was also a selfless decision driven by personal circumstances. As a mother to five-year-old son Harry and following the recent passing of her father, she craves more family time – something international management can offer due to its flexibility compared to daily demands associated with club football.
“This is not a selfish decision; it’s about putting other important aspects of my life first,” said Hayes confidently during Friday’s press conference. “I am ready for this new chapter.”
A Dream Realized
For Hayes, managing a national team on the biggest stage has always been a dream. Despite being born in England, she has worked extensively in the United States as the head coach of Chicago Red Stars and has expressed her affinity for American culture.
“As a little girl, I always hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to manage a national team,” revealed Hayes last week. “While we may not fulfill every dream we have, this is definitely one dream come true for me.”
Highly Valued by US Soccer
In addition to her desire to lead a country at major tournaments, Emma Hayes is highly valued by US Soccer. The federation recognizes her accomplishments and will make her the highest-paid female manager in the world, ensuring that she earns an equal salary compared to USA men’s boss Gregg Berhalter.
The Impact of Emma Hayes
Emma Hayes’ achievements both on and off the pitch have been widely acknowledged within women’s football circles. Former England striker Ellen White spoke highly of what she has done for Chelsea and women in sport overall:
“What she’s done for the game has been phenomenal. What she’s done for Chelsea, what she’s done for women in sport, for mothers in sport as well – advocating for players – it’s been incredible.”
Jill Scott, another former Lioness player echoed similar sentiments about Hayes’ impact:
“She’s completed WSL; whoever comes into Chelsea now will face difficulties. It’s like when Alex Ferguson left Manchester United – it’s going to be hard to replace her.”
The Challenge Ahead
Managing such an illustrious national team comes with immense pressure and sky-high expectations. The United States is the most successful nation in women’s football history, with a long list of accolades to their name.
Emma Hayes will have to navigate a new squad, prepare for major tournaments, and fulfill the enormous responsibility of continuing the team’s legacy. However, with her track record at Chelsea and her longstanding desire to lead on the international stage, it seems that she is more than ready for this challenge.