Even with a good result, Emma Hayes puts her foot down at the start with USWNT

Victory against South Korea is good, but we have to take one step at a time
South Korea v United States
South Korea v United States / Justin Edmonds/USSF/GettyImages

The new era of the US Women's National Team (USWNT) under the leadership of Emma Hayes began with a convincing 4-0 victory over South Korea, matching Pia Sundhage's debut win in 2008, which stands as the second-largest victory for a debuting coach. While the road ahead is long and the work arduous, as the English coach stated after the game, "it's about building confidence," particularly so that players can absorb the information provided and synchronize their actions on the field. However, Hayes remains grounded: "we have to take one step at a time."

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Hayes intends to maintain the American DNA but also wants to imprint her style of play. Despite the positive scoreline, there were gaps left on the field, something that will be corrected with more training time. The players and the coach had only a week to implement the new strategies. "I want to coach this group and they want to be coached. You can see that we're building something. There's a lot of work to do, there are many gaps in our game, no doubt. But it was a good start," Hayes said.

With so little time to work, the main issue at the moment is ensuring the players understand what is being conveyed. This takes time, as the coach herself emphasized: it's one step at a time. Nonetheless, Hayes did not feel the pressure of leading the USWNT. The multi-champion team has fallen from the world stage, but the good news is that the group is eager to learn and was able to grasp the information quickly. An example of this is the central defensive duo of Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson. Girma, who took on the captain's armband at 23, and Davidson, who scored two goals in the match.

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Hayes revealed that Davidson "waits before commenting on anything in the environment - and she listened all week." The defender paid attention to details, not just on set pieces, which is crucial for the quick adaptation and evolution of the USWNT's game. The team will face the South Koreans again next Tuesday, June 4, at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in another friendly match.