Emma Hayes is ideal for the USWNT. However she’s going to enter the snake pit United States ladies’s nationwide soccer crew

Few folks on earth are as certified as Emma Hayes to be the pinnacle coach of the U.S. Ladies’s Nationwide Group.

The Englishwoman has constructed a juggernaut at Chelsea. She gained expertise on this function via teaching and consulting within the USA, the place she helped assemble the Western New York Flash crew that received the latest WPS Championship. She ceaselessly presents on the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, which can also be held in america. Nobody has a greater understanding of the place American gamers stand in comparison with their worldwide friends.

So, when information emerged that Hayes was leaving Chelsea and may be heading to the US to take over as coach of the four-time world champion, the query wasn’t “why her?” Query: “Why would you settle for the job?”

Soccer could be powerful on nationwide crew coaches. Ladies’s soccer could be particular impolite. Ladies’s soccer in america might be even worse.

Within the minds of the media and followers of girls’s soccer in america, there may be completely no fault on the a part of the gamers. This has by no means been a defective growth pipeline — which, in america, is a significant issue exacerbated by the monetary calls for of present (ladies) nationwide crew gamers. And males) on the expense of any participant sooner or later. It is at all times the coach

In any case, nationwide groups have extra freedom to switch a coach than they do to switch gamers linked to their international locations by start or nationality. Due to a long time of media adulation, US nationwide crew gamers get pleasure from higher affect than their counterparts elsewhere. Gamers can provide a agency stamp of approval, as they did when Vlatko Andonovski was employed in 2019. But when a coach rocks the boat, gamers can pull out the knives and make the coach stroll the plank. In 2014, US Soccer’s denial {that a} participant revolt led to Tom Sermanni’s firing seemed to be the union’s voice in protest. Jill Ellis needed to survive the rebellion in an effort to keep the job she did so brilliantly, which was to steadiness the crew’s egos and masks among the weaknesses with sound ways in an effort to win a second successive World Cup in 2019. Even Pia Sundhage, who rebuilt the crew After its collapse on the 2007 World Cup, it had its share of criticism.

Hayes might not face the identical restrictions as her predecessors. Below earlier labor agreements, US Soccer maintained a core of salaried gamers, and altering that core was extra difficult than merely saying it was time to usher in Participant She has extra freedom than earlier USWNT coaches to decide on the gamers she desires. She may profit from arriving at a time when among the outdated guard are on their approach out – Megan Rapinoe has completed her worldwide profession, and Alex Morgan is certainly one of many gamers who’re actually not assured to maneuver ahead on their roster. The subsequent 12 months or two will likely be one of many few occasions within the historical past of girls’s soccer in america when the competitors for positions is huge open.

However Hayes’ choices will nonetheless have limits that she didn’t encounter at Chelsea, the place the membership’s important sources and monetary dedication allowed her to area a digital all-star crew. Final 12 months, Chelsea had 9 gamers in The Guardian’s checklist of the 100 finest gamers on the earth. Pernille Tougher and Magdalena Eriksson have since gone elsewhere, however Hayes merely added Ashley Lawrence, Mia Fishel and Catarina Macario.

Hayes was a serial winner at Chelsea.
Hayes was a serial winner at Chelsea. Images: Matt Lewis/FA/Getty Photos

With the USWNT, Hayes will choose from a big however confused pool of expertise crammed with gamers who’ve struggled in youth worldwide play and regarded naive at this summer time’s World Cup. Making the incorrect selections won’t solely weaken your lineup on a given day. That might weaken her political capital in an environment the place followers, gamers and the media might shortly flip in opposition to her.

Hayes’ place in England is safe. She’s leaving a spot the place she’s revered for a spot the place she’s revered – and so was Vlatko Andonovski.

Hayes has been a constant winner at Chelsea, constructing a crew and membership in her personal picture. “He (Hayes) constructed all the pieces at Chelsea,” Katie Chapman instructed The Guardian in 2021. Now, it is a fully skilled setup but it surely’s all been a battle through the years to do it. She is at all times searching for how she may help everybody. Will she have the identical type of oversight and affect over American soccer as she did with Chelsea?

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For an up-and-coming coach, a head teaching place in america might be a dream job. It might simply as simply be a nightmare. Why would a well known coach like Hayes take this chance?

However whereas Hayes’ selection appears dangerous, it is also laborious to query it. Her father died just lately. Her place on the nationwide crew, free of the burden of taking part in within the home and European leagues, may present her with extra of the work-life steadiness she has publicly lamented she doesn’t have immediately. If transferring throughout the Atlantic appeared finest for her household, it was the proper selection.

They may also get good compensation in fact, and This could end up making seven numbers Should you settle for the job. She may orchestrate a change that may add to her legacy. The place there may be disaster, there may be additionally alternative.

If Hayes had made poor choices frequently, she wouldn’t have compiled such an illustrious checklist of accomplishments. And if there’s anybody who can survive the snake pit the US ladies’s nationwide crew coach has been thrown into, it is Hayes.

US supporters ought to take into account themselves very fortunate. It is a job that will scare off plenty of good candidates, and for good purpose. However one of many sport’s largest authorities is just not afraid of the problem.

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