Graphic by Sean Rogers/The Olaf Messenger
Emma Hayes has been named the new head coach of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) after a few years of subpar soccer for the U.S. team. Hayes is currently the coach of Chelsea FC in England and is finishing her commitment to that club before starting full-time for the U.S. team.
The USWNT is a strong team that has faltered under the leadership of their previous coach Vlatko Andonovski. The team has won four World Cups, but the last one was under Jill Ellis, which was two head coaches ago. The team is trying to recover after early elimination from the last World Cup and the last Olympics.
Andonovski was heavily criticized by fans throughout his coaching tenure. His roster decisions for major tournaments were questioned by players and fans alike. The U.S. broke a few different win streaks and had multiple major stars get injured or retire. The team was looking for a new direction when Hayes was hired.
Hayes has already met with many of the coaches and players on the USWNT since her appointment in October. Although she will finish the year with Chelsea, her presence reassured players of her commitment to the team. Hayes is well-known for a player-centric managerial style, and that shows so far in her actions with the team.
Hayes has promised to usher in a new era for the national team. Starting off this era, the U.S. played their first international friendly under Hayes, defeating China 3-0 on Dec. 3. As the Olympics approach this summer, USWNT fans will surely watch to see if Hayes makes good on this promise.