After its worst ever performance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the United States women’s national team is turning to one of the most trusted names in the sport for its next manager — and are reportedly paying her a record sum to take the job.
The U.S. Soccer Federation has formally approved the hiring of longtime Chelsea FC women’s manager Emma Hayes to be the next boss of the USWNT, as first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Chelsea already announced that Hayes will leave the club at the end of the Women’s Super League season in May.
Hayes’ salary is in negotiation, but she is reportedly set to be the highest-paid manager in women’s soccer, according to The Athletic, surpassing England’s Sarina Wiegman, who reportedly makes $500,000 per year.
The idea is to potentially match USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter, whose salary is listed as $1.6 million as of U.S. Soccer’s 2022 financial filings. In 2022, the Federation and its players signed a historic collective bargaining agreement guaranteeing equal pay for the men’s and women’s senior national team players, but that does not necessarily extend to coaches.
U.S. Soccer did not immediately respond to Front Office Sports’ request for comment.
Hayes is set to succeed Vlatko Andonovski, who resigned after the USWNT’s underwhelming performance in Australia and New Zealand this summer. The team’s return to a female manager — and an extremely accomplished one at that — was met with near universal acclaim.
The 47-year-old is one of the most decorated managers in women’s soccer history, having won six WSL titles, including the last four in a row. After she led Chelsea to a treble in 2021, Hayes was named FIFA’s Best Women’s Coach of the year.
Hayes’ previously coached in the United States as the manager of the Chicago Red Stars from 2008 to 2010, where she won games at just a 23% clip. She was an assistant at Arsenal before moving on to Chelsea.
The Telegraph’s Fi Thomas was quick to point out that Hayes’ coaching style very much prioritizes women’s health and that she will likely build out her USWNT coaching staff to accommodate that.