U.S. Soccer made a major splash on Tuesday with the hiring of Emma Hayes as the next U.S. women’s national team head coach and current USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter is a big fan of the move.
Hayes will officially move the move stateside next spring ahead of the USWNT’s involvement at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. The 47-year-old has been one of the top coaches worldwide over the past decade, leading Women’s Super League side Chelsea to 15 trophies across all competitions.
The lone trophy to allude Hayes during her time in London is the UEFA Women’s Champions League title, a quest that the Blues began on Wednesday with a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
Hayes will reportedly earn the same salary ($2 million per year) as Berhalter, while the 50-year-old continues his second spell in charge of the USMNT. Berhalter is currently preparing his squad for the CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinals, but made sure to voice his excitement for Hayes’ move to the federation.
“I think it’s great that U.S. Soccer went out and hired the person they want,” Berhalter said Wednesday in his pre-match press conference. “What I know about Emma, the soccer world is a small world and you hear nothing but good things about Emma. I’ve reached out to her and we have had some brief exchanges but I don’t know her well. Everything you hear about her is how thorough she is, how process-oriented it is, how bright she is, how she’s so focused on team culture and teamwork.
“I think it’s an exciting step for the women’s team, which has already been a groundbreaking team and already been a team that just performs on the field, breaking down barriers off the field,” Berhalter added. “You name it, they’ve done it. I think this is a fitting appointment and it speaks highly of Matt Crocker and what he was able to do to get together good coaching pool.”
The USWNT closes out its 2023 schedule with a pair of home friendlies against China PR on Dec. 2 and 5 respectively. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore will resume her duties with the USWNT before becoming an assistant coach on Hayes’ staff ahead of the Olympics.