Emma Hayes has revealed that the interview process with U.S. Soccer for the position of the next USWNT coach was “extraordinary.”
The Chelsea manager, who has been with the club for over 11 years, was officially announced as the new coach on Tuesday. Seeking a fresh challenge and a better work-life balance, Hayes will take charge of USWNT two months before the Olympics in the summer.
Hayes opened up about her interview process with sporting director Matt Crocker in an interview with U.S. Soccer, saying: “First of all, this is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to coach the most incredible team in world football history. No one ever knows what the right time is in life for anything, but it’s the feeling I have for this team and for a country that I have a great connection with and a history with. I’ve dreamed about doing this job from my days as a coach in my early twenties. You can’t turn the U.S. Women’s National Team down.”
She added: “It was an extraordinary interview process that made me really think hard about who I am, what my teams are about, and the importance of the things that really, really matter if you’re going to compete at the highest level. I thought it was a challenging interview process that brought those things out. Most importantly, it showed how serious the U.S. are in getting things right both on and off the pitch so that the team can compete on all fronts for every trophy. It was an exciting and interesting prospect.”
Hayes wonders about coaching so few games for USWNT in season in comparison to her time at Chelsea
Emma Hayes is ready for her first role as the head coach of a national team, expressing her determination to bring success to the USWNT. She has cautioned the players about “intense periods” during training camps, aiming to replicate her achievements at the club level with the national team.
“I’m accustomed to coaching on average about 44 games a year in domestic and European competition,” she said. “So the preparation required to do that and the turnaround timings to do that I think have prepared me properly for this job because pulling the team together, especially off the pitch, to be able to maximize the minimal opportunities we get with the players has to be so spot on. That everything we train is done with specificity and clarity is so, so important because to win the biggest things we have to make the most of those moments.
“There will be intense periods in camp, I have no doubt about that. But it will be a fair and open competition for everybody to compete for a place in the team and I’m just looking forward to meeting the players and putting them in a position so that ultimately, we will get to competition where everybody feels they’re in their best place possible to perform.”