WWC: After one last Chelsea title, Emma Hayes now focused on USWNT


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After guiding Chelsea to the Women’s Super League title for the seventh time, Emma Hayes is a woman with just one job.

Hayes can fully concentrate on being coach of the United States Women’s National Team after Chelsea’s 6-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday. It marked the fifth straight WSL title for Chelsea and concluded Hayes’ 12-season stint with the team.

Hayes, 47, accepted the U.S. coaching job in November but wanted to finish the season with Chelsea. She has kept tabs on the U.S. squad and provided input, but now she will be fully engaged on figuring out the best squad to put together for this summer’s Olympics.

The task begins immediately.

“It’s not tiring thinking about going to an Olympics, is it?” Hayes said after Chelsea’s win. “It’s different, a different energy. I’ll feel reinvigorated and re-energized with something else. Sometimes people think you need a rest. Sometimes you just need a change.

“So, Monday, I have to speak to a handful of players and staff, as I have been doing in the background anyway. Tuesday, I’m on a leadership call with U.S. leadership and on Wednesday, I fly to New York. Pressers Thursday, in Denver Friday to meet with the staff, and get prepared for the team to arrive (in Denver) on Monday (the 27th).

“And listen, they deserve my full attention and they will get that from me.”

The first match with Hayes on the sideline is a friendly set for June 1 against South Korea in the Denver suburb of Commerce City.

The USWNT has another match against South Korea on June 4 in Saint Paul, Minn. A month later, there will be friendlies against Mexico on July 13 in Harrison, N.J., and Costa Rica on July 16 in Washington prior to the team leaving for Paris.

The first Olympic match under Hayes is scheduled against Zambia on July 25 in Nice, France.

So yes, Hayes will be plenty busy in the coming weeks. But she insists it won’t be as demanding as leading Chelsea.

“It’s taken its toll on me,” Hayes said. “I categorically cannot carry on, so I am absolutely leaving at the right time. I don’t have another drop to give.”

The real judgment time for Hayes and the USWNT will come at the 2027 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. squad was a colossal disaster in 2023 when it was eliminated in the Round of 16 by losing to Sweden on penalty kicks. It marked the club’s earliest exit.

The U.S. scored just four goals in four matches and tallied just one in their last three outings.

–Field Level Media


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