Emma Hayes goals to duplicate her Chelsea success with U.S. ladies's soccer


The ladies’s nationwide soccer workforce hasn’t received an Olympic championship in 12 years, its longest drought ever. Yet for Emma Hayes, the girl tasked to get the U.S. again to the highest of the medal podium, recollections of the 2012 event have little to do with gold medals.

The Games have been performed in England that 12 months and Hayes’ father, Sid, turned enamored with the Americans. So a lot in order that when Hayes took the top teaching job with the Chelsea ladies’s workforce that very same summer season, he urged her to remake the English sport within the U.S. mannequin.

She did, hoisting 16 trophies. So with little left to win in England, Hayes turned a candidate for the U.S. teaching job when it got here open final 12 months — and that led to a different dialog together with her father simply earlier than he died in September.

This time he urged her to remake the American workforce within the Chelsea mannequin.

“I’ve a 23-minute voice notice, my final dialog with my father, and it was all about 2012,” Hayes mentioned Thursday, halfway by means of her first official day as coach of the nationwide workforce. “At the tip of it he goes, ‘You’re going to take it, received’t you?’

“I virtually talked to him like I had the job, though I didn’t, as a result of I needed him to go together with that thought. By the time October rolled round and I interviewed for the job, I simply thought I might hear him in my head the entire time. ‘You’ve obtained to do it.’ ”

She did, though she needed to anticipate her contract at Chelsea to expire, which it did final weekend with Hayes successful her fifth straight Women’s Super League title. Now she has lower than 10 weeks to arrange the U.S. for an additional Summer Games, this one in France, the place it’s going to face the most effective area in Olympic historical past.

Her work will start in earnest subsequent week when Hayes gathers her first U.S. workforce in suburban Denver for coaching camp and the primary of two friendlies with South Korea. After that, the she’ll have to decide on her 18-player workforce for Paris.

And after her success in England, she says the challenges of her new job have re-energized her.

“Working at Chelsea took my complete life for the previous 12 years and I actually needed a change,” mentioned Hayes, 47, who will reportedly earn near $2 million a 12 months with the USWNT, making her the best-paid ladies’s soccer coach in historical past. “Just driving into the identical office six days every week, the sport each three days, the depth of all of these issues. I couldn’t try this once more. Not at this second in time.

“There’s a special ebb and stream to worldwide soccer. You don’t get many alternatives to go to an Olympics in your life.”

Hayes, who was born in London, arrived in New York to begin her new job Wednesday and instantly took a stroll round Central Park. She’s no stranger to town or the park, having taken her first teaching job with the Long Island Lady Riders of the USL-W League. The workforce went 11-3-0 and Hayes, simply 25, was named the league’s coach of the 12 months.

She would rapidly transfer on to Iona University and the Chicago Red Stars, which then performed within the WPL, earlier than returning to England with Chelsea in 2012. But, she mentioned, she all the time deliberate on coming again to the U.S.

“My journey has been backside up. So I’ve such an appreciation, not simply of the panorama, however of my journey,” she mentioned. “We all have goals. But it’s not typically your goals develop into a actuality. And I all the time grew up with that notion, this complete American dream idea, that you could come to the nation — and as a lady coming from England, belief me, I by no means felt extra supported than I did after I labored within the U.S. — and work my approach up by means of the system to be now be the top coach of your nationwide workforce.

“I’ll give completely every little thing I’ve obtained to ensure I uphold the traditions of of this workforce.”

Although subsequent week’s coaching camp shall be her first in cost, she mentioned the transition from Chelsea to the nationwide workforce started months in the past with late nights watching NWSL video games from England and in common conversations with Twila Kilgore, the U.S. workforce’s interim coach.

“I really feel like I’ve been ready quietly get to know the job with out being in the job. And I believe that’s actually helped,” she mentioned. “I’ve been getting ready. All the camp preparation is finished, all of the classes are deliberate, the June schedule is deliberate out when it comes to our conferences. So all people is obvious on what’s occurring.”

Hayes mentioned she additionally plans on assembly privately with each participant, giving them an opportunity to get to know their new coach simply as the brand new coach will get to know every participant.

“I need to construct belief,” she mentioned. “I need to come from a spot the place belief is the muse. I need to construct a household of their surroundings that everyone takes care of one another inside that. And I acknowledge this system’s historical past.

“I’ve admired so many issues that the gamers have finished through the years to advocate, not only for themselves, however for the issues and causes that matter most. I don’t need to change these issues, however I additionally need to be certain all people understands that every little thing we do, we’ve to ask ourselves ‘is that this serving to the workforce win?’ That’s what my focus shall be.”

A deal with getting the workforce again to the form of play that made her father a fan, which received’t be straightforward, Hayes concedes. Not solely has the U.S. gone 12 years with out an Olympic title, however it bowed out of final summer season’s World Cup within the spherical of 16, its earliest exit ever in a significant world championship

“What we noticed final summer season is how that hole has been closed,” Hayes mentioned. “Sometimes you want one thing like that as a reminder that what obtained you right here received’t get you there. It’s a possibility now to to evolve. In world soccer, particularly in Europe, there’s loads of funding. Teams are at a sure degree now that they weren’t 4 years in the past.

“I’m by no means going to inform anybody to not dream about successful. So go for it,” she added. “But we’ve to go step-by-step. If we will carry out at our greatest degree, then we’ve an opportunity of doing issues. But we’ve obtained work to do.”



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