Chelsea’s current Head Coach Emma Hayes is set to become the next manager of the U.S. women’s football team, as per The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Following Chelsea’s impressive 6-0 win against Aston Villa in the WSL on Saturday, the club issued an announcement, confirming that Hayes will depart from the club when the 2023/2024 season concludes in May 2024.
An announcement that many Chelsea fans had feared for a while now.
The statement’s first line reads, “Emma Hayes OBE will depart the club at the end of the season to pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.”
This suggests that her upcoming and much-needed adventure will be in the realm of international football.
Several hours after Chelsea’s announcement, reliable sources have disclosed to both The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Athletic that Hayes is currently engaged in advanced negotiations with the U.S. Soccer.
Hayes, who received the FIFA Best Football Coach award in 2021, is poised to become the highest-paid manager in the women’s football world once the agreement is finalized.
Chelsea’s Way Of Thanking Hayes
In the statement, co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley expressed Chelsea’s gratitude to Hayes, “Given everything she has contributed to Chelsea in over a decade with the club, and the legacy she leaves behind, we would never stand in her way when she felt it was the right time to pursue a new challenge.”
This comes as a relief for the USWNT fans, as Hayes will depart the London-based club without any demands for compensation.
In return, Chelsea wishes that their current head coach completes the season on an exclusive basis.
The regular season in the Women’s Super League concludes on May 18, but if Chelsea qualifies to the UEFA Women’s Champions League final, Hayes’ period at the club would extend by a week, as the final is scheduled for May 25.
The Olympics As A Real First Test
If everything proceeds as expected and the U.S. Soccer Federation officially appoints Emma Hayes as the new Head Coach of the US Women’s National Team, the soon-to-be former Chelsea manager will have precisely two months to ready her new team for the forthcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. The women’s Olympic football competition kicks off on July 25.
Hayes will have two FIFA days windows to introduce her football philosophy. The first international break starts on May 27 with two confirmed friendly matches, and the second takes place just days before the Olympic tournament, from July 8 to July 16.
What Happens Until Then With The USWNT?
When Vlatko Andonovski stepped down in August following the team’s early round-of-16 elimination at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Twila Kilgore was announced as the USWNT interim head coach.
With reports suggesting that Emma Hayes is the top priority option for the USWNT head coach position, questions are raised of whether the federation will retain Kilgore until the conclusion of the European regular season.
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea Coaching Career In Short
- Joined Chelsea in 2012.
- Led Chelsea to 6 Women’s Super League titles.
- Won 5 FA Cups with the Blues.
- Added 2 FA Women’s League Cups
- Secured one FA Women’s Spring Series trophy.
- Won one Women’s Community Shield.
- In 2021, Hayes won the domestic treble with Chelsea.
- Named as the manager of the season on 6 occasions.
- Named LMA WSL manager of the season on 5 occasions.
- Received an MBE in 2016, and an OBE in 2022.
Emma Hayes, who undeniably not only raised Chelsea’s footballing level but also played a pivotal role in advancing women’s football globally, aims to conclude her final club football season with Chelsea by clinching as many titles as possible.
Despite securing all domestic titles since 2012, her focus and spirations are probably fixed on capturing the long-anticipated Women’s Champions League trophy.