USWNT prepares for Paris with two tests under the leadership of Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes to make her USWNT coaching debut
USWNT wins fifth SheBelieves Cup title
USWNT wins fifth SheBelieves Cup title / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

No one denies the strength of the U.S. Women's National Team. However, the team has lost some of its power in recent years and is trying to return to its days of glory under the command of Emma Hayes. Despite having played eight games and winning the fifth consecutive SheBelieves Cup along the way, the new coach arrives with the mission of bringing the USWNT back to the top of women's world soccer, where it should have never left.

The English coach has a winning pedigree and has won 16 titles with Chelsea: Women's Super League (2014/15, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23, and 2023/24), FA Women's Super League Cup (2019/20 and 2020/21), Women's FA Community Shield (2020/21), and FA Women's Cup (2014/15, 2017/18, 2020/21, 2021/22, and 2022/23).

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

Hayes has had little time but has called up 23 players for two friendlies against South Korea, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, on June 1, and at Allianz Field in Minnesota on June 4. Even though it's her first roster, the coach has observed the NWSL games, giving first call-ups to defender Sam Staab from the Chicago Red Stars and midfielder Hal Hershfelt from the Washington Spirit. The idea is to seek a rebuild while relying on experience, such as the return of Rose Lavelle. The team has an average age of 26.3 years.

"I’m really looking forward to getting started. The preparations have been well underway and I can’t wait to get into camp. We know it’s a short turnaround and we have a lot of work to do, but I’m fully focused on making sure that the performances are at the levels that are required to compete. I want to build on the work that (former interim head coach and now assistant coach) Twila (Kilgore) has been implementing over the last six months. I expect complete commitment from everyone to absorb very quickly the things that I value as the most important so that we can compete this summer. I know they are a highly coachable group and I’m looking forward to challenging them. It’s time to go to work. I can’t wait to meet the fans and it’s really time to get behind the team as we get closer to putting a roster together for the Olympics."

Emma Hayes.

Players called up for USWNT friendlies against South Korea

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Hal Hershfelt (Washington Spirit), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax, NED)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

Emma Hayes is racing against the clock to make her observations before the final roster for the Paris Olympic Games, especially since she will face a tough group. The U.S. is part of Group B, along with Germany, Australia, and Zambia. The coach has the mission of imparting her playing philosophy to the players in the quest for Olympic gold.