The United States women’s national team needed dramatic change following its failure in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the USWNT might be getting one of the top managers in the game.

Chelsea confirmed Saturday that Emma Hayes will depart the club following the end of the season of the FA Women’s Super League season in May. Joe Lowery of Backheeld and Jeff Kassouf shortly reported the English manager will be named USWNT manager.

“A source tells Backheeled that there is a possibility Hayes will join the USWNT during international breaks between now and then before taking over full-time,” Lowery wrote.

Since taking over Chelsea in 2012, Hayes has won six FA WSL titles, five Women’s FA Cups and two FA Women’s League Cups. She also has won FA WSL Manager of the Season six times, and she was inducted into the WSL Hall of Fame in 2021. Hayes signed a contract extension in 2021, but the contract included a unique clause where there was no end date due to the loyalty and respect from both sides.

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Hayes has been the face on the managerial side of the growth of women’s soccer in England. She has managed top players like Sam Kerr, Crystal Dunn, Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, and Lauren James, all of whom have praised Hayes’ managerial style and tactics.

It’s that last aspect that became a glaring issue for the USWNT under Vlatko Andonovski, who failed to adjust to the growth of the game and relied on the team’s talent pool rather than coming up with a sound strategy when talent only went so far.

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In this year’s World Cup, the USWNT went 1-2-0, finishing second in the group. The United States then lost to Sweden in a penalty kick shootout. Critics of the team like former player Carli Lloyd bashed the team for a perceived lack of heart and passion, and while that might have played a part, the real issue was the on-field product.

Key players like Mallory Swanson and Becky Sauerbrunn missed the World Cup due to injury, and Rose Lavelle was not at full strength. It became glaringly obvious in the group stage that Andonovski only trusted half of his squad when potential contributors Ashley Sanchez, Lynn Williams, Alyssa Thompson, Savannah DeMelo and Alana Cook barely played in high-leverage moments. There was very little tactical plan and adjustments from Andonovski, and that was the real reason the USWNT suffered its earliest exit in a World Cup.

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Hayes has a proven track record at Chelsea for being able to adjust to her personnel and develop game plans against opposing teams. She has experience coaching in U.S. soccer and has experience with players like Dunn and Megan Rapnioe.

The big question will be how she adjusts to the international level, where managers aren’t afforded the same time as club managers to train with their teams. The United States also is in a transition period with Rapinoe and Julie Ertz retiring this year and multiple young talents waiting for their chance to impress.

Hayes’ first big test will be at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but her track record should give fans confidence she can restore the USWNT back to its glory.

Featured image via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images