Emma Hayes is already seemingly having an impact on the United States women’s national team roster. The current Chelsea women’s team coach was recently named manager of the Stars and Stripes. However, Hayes will not officially take over at the helm of her new team until May. This is when Chelsea wraps up its Women’s Super League season.

U.S. Soccer recently revealed the new USWNT team set to face China twice in early December. Superstar Alex Morgan was undoubtedly the most notable omission from the squad. The 34-year-old striker has racked up 121 goals during her international career. This is the fifth-most goals in the history of the national team.

Hayes makes changes to USWNT squad as Morgan misses out

It certainly seems as if USWNT officials want to freshen up the team. Veterans Crystal Dunn, Sofia Huerta, Alyssa Naeher, Ashley Sanchez, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Andi Sullivan were all also left off of the latest roster. Instead, eleven total players with 10 caps or fewer are included to face China.

U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker officially compiled the squad for the upcoming friendlies. Current USWNT interim coach Twila Kilgore had significant input in the roster as well. However, Hayes was also consulted in the selection process.

Fan favorite Rose Lavelle has reentered the fray for the first time since the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Korbin Albert and NJ/NY Gotham midfielder Jenna Nighswonger, both previously uncapped, were also named in the team. Nighswonger was recently named NWSL Rookie of the Year.

Despite the changes, Kilgore claims that those omitted from the latest team will not be forgotten. “We value these players who have recently been in camps or played in the World Cup and were not chosen for this roster. They are of course still a part of our pool, but we know what they bring on and off the field,” stated Kilgore.

“At the same time, we also need to continue to evaluate and bring along players in the right ways to give the team the best chance for success.”

US Soccer exec says delay in new coach’s arrival ‘not ideal’

Crocker spoke with reporters on Monday following the release of the latest team. The sporting director admitted that not being able to bring in Hayes as soon as possible is not the perfect scenario.

“It’s not ideal, as we know that Emma can’t start with us straight away,” said Crocker. “But from my perspective, what was important is that we got the best candidate for the long term rather than the wrong candidate for the short term. This is the soonest that we can get Emma, being respectful to her, the job that she has to do with Chelsea, the contract situation with Chelsea.”

Crocker also, however, acknowledged that he has full confidence in Kilgore until Hayes can take over the team.

“I’m really, really confident that working with Twila, we can pull together an outstanding plan to prepare this team for the Olympics in the short term,” continued Crocker.

The USWNT will face China on Dec. 2 and 5 in the States. The first matchup is set to be played in Fort Lauderdale, with the return fixture being hosted in Frisco, Texas. Hayes will be in charge of the team ahead of the 2024 Olympics in France.