Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

New United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) manager Emma Hayes has touched down in the States prior to the team’s June friendlies and had a chance to break down her goals and underlying principles to select media in New York on Thursday.

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Hayes is in the midst of a whirlwind turnaround fresh off of winning the WSL season with Chelsea FC last weekend.

She joins a USWNT team emerging from a period of interim management under Twila Kilgore after former head coach Vlatko Andonovski resigned last August.

Hayes didn’t shy away from the high expectations that come with managing the US, a team that’s looking to reinstate their winning reputation at this summer’s Paris Olympics after a disappointing 2023 Women’s World Cup.

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"I know the challenge ahead of me. There is no denying there is a gap between the US and the rest of the world," she told ESPN.

"We have to acknowledge that winning at the highest level isn't what it was 10 years ago. It's a completely different landscape. And my focus is going to be on getting the performances required to play at a high level against the very best nations in the world."


Hayes also told ESPN that she's been in conversation with Kilgore for months, saying Kilgore has been "drip-feeding subliminal messages" to the roster on her behalf.

"It's a bit ass-upwards," she joked to reporters. "I know about the staff, and the team, and the structure behind it. We got all of that. Now it's time, I need to be with the team."

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With the Olympics only two months away, Hayes gave some hints this week as to her thought process behind roster-building but also said there's still time for players to make their case.

"You can't go to an Olympics with a completely inexperienced squad. We need our experienced players, but getting that composition right, that's my job between now and June 16th," she said on the Today Show.

In focusing on performance and process, Hayes appears to be contextualizing expectations for her first major tournament with the USWNT. Now both the team and coach will find out if the wait for Hayes's availability will prove worth it in the long run.

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