Emma Hayes has proclaimed that the United States women’s national team coaching position is the biggest job in women’s soccer. The English manager was previously named USWNT head coach back in November but did not immediately make the switch. Instead, Hayes remained with Chelsea Women to finish out the 2023/24 campaign. In the end, the coach guided the Blues to the Women’s Super League title before riding off into the sunset.

Hayes now officially joins the Stars and Stripes ahead of two friendly matches in early June. Before being on the sidelines for her first match with the USWNT, the coach conducted an interview with the BBC. In the discussion, Hayes compared leading the Americans to being head coach of the Brazilian men’s team.

“I don’t care what anyone says, it really is,” Hayes replied when asked if the USWNT position is the biggest job in women’s soccer. “For me, it’s a little bit like Brazil in the men’s game. Historically what this team has stood for, what they have advocated for, what they have represented as women not just in this country but to the women’s game worldwide.”

“It’s fitting for me to be with them and vice versa. I think we are coming together at the right time.”

Hayes must deliver trophies, while Berhalter must deliver appearances

Hayes is certainly correct in the massive expectations that come with being the USWNT manager. After all, the Stars and Stripes are by far the most successful international women’s teams in the history of the sport. They have collected four Women’s World Cup titles, four Olympic Gold medals, and nine CONCACAF W Championships.

The coach, however, enters the fray at a time in which the USWNT is somewhat struggling. The Americans uncharacteristically faltered at the 2023 Women’s World Cup and have had mixed results in recent months. Nevertheless, Hayes knows that she has to turn things around fairly fast in her new role.

“We all know this is a nation that expects to win,” stated Hayes when asked about the upcoming Summer Olympics in France.

“It’s important that everyone here focuses on the processes and the steps that we need to take to be able to perform at the level that’s required to do that. It’s going to take time.”

USMNT manager has kept job despite poor tournament showings

Even in her comparisons to the Brazilian men’s team, the expectations surrounding the USWNT may be even higher. This is even though the South Americans are typically among the favorites for every competition that they play in.

Staying in the States, Hayes will now have even more pressure on her than Gregg Berhalter does with the USMNT. The current coach of the men’s team has been at the helm since 2018, yet has only found CONCACAF success.

With Berhalter in charge, the Americans only managed to squeak through to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The USMNT, however, was then thoroughly beaten by the Netherlands in the knockout round. Despite calls by many to replace Berhalter, U.S. Soccer opted to keep the coach in place.

With Hayes, the USWNT will soon have had four different head coaches since Berhalter became manager of the men’s team in 2018. American soccer authorities are seemingly content with relative mediocrity on the men’s side. Nevertheless, the organization has significantly higher hopes with the USWNT.