Emma Hayes is leaving her job on the sidelines at Chelsea and is in negotiations to become the next U.S. women’s national team head coach, sources confirmed to CBS Sports. Backheeld first reported the news of Hayes exiting the WSL side at the end of the year for the USWNT.
Hayes is set to take on the role at the end of Chelsea’s season in May. The long-time Blues manager has been with the WSL side since 2012 and has won multiple titles with the club. She’s a six-time WSL champion, won five FA Cups, and has two FA Women’s League Cups among other titles with the team.
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The news comes as a pleasant surprise to sources who were aware of Hayes’ name on the shortlist of U.S. Soccer and her mutual interest in the role, but were unsure of her place among the candidates interviewing for the position. Previous player input on the position included experience at a national team level, combined with the federation’s short timeline to hire, which made things unclear on how high she was among other candidates.
The Athletic has reported that when Hayes is officially hired, she will be the highest-paid coach in women’s football with her pay set to be a record-breaking offer. While details are still being finalized and the next steps on how Hayes will navigate potential dual coaching responsibilities, Chelsea has already announced her eventual departure with reportedly no fee in exchange for Hayes to complete the current season with the Blues in WSL.
Tony Gustavsson, Joe Montemurro and Laura Harvey were on the federation’s shortlist, but a key point was accessibility in proximity to the United States and willingness to move, leaving Gustavsson less likely to land the role. Now, with the Olympics just a short eight months away, Hayes is expected to take on the role with uncertainties around international windows between December and May.