Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes is the new head coach of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday.

U.S. Soccer said it will make Hayes the “the highest paid women’s soccer coach in the world.” Henry Bushnell of Yahoo! Sports reports Hayes’ salary will almost match the approximately $1.6 million that men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter is earning in his second stint as coach.

Hayes, who started her coaching career in the U.S., called this coaching opportunity “a dream come true” and “huge honor,” in a statement.

“I know there is work to do to achieve our goals of winning consistently at the highest levels. To get there, it will require dedication, devotion and collaboration from the players, staff and everyone at the U.S. Soccer Federation,” she said, per U.S. Soccer.

The news was expected after Chelsea all but confirmed Hayes’ next gig when the club released a statement on Nov. 4 saying that Hayes would “depart the club at the end of the season to pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.”

When will Emma Hayes take over USWNT?

Hayes will remain with Chelsea until the end of the club’s season, which wraps up May 19. She could be with Chelsea longer if the team plays in the Champions League Final on May 25.

U.S. Soccer said that Hayes will coach the team for two matches in June and two in July before the 2024 Paris Olympics. Traditionally, the Olympic roster is released before the two July matches, which serve as send-off matches.

A short coaching window with Hayes could mean little roster turnover and that the U.S. is prioritizing long-term success over short-term Olympic glory.

Who will coach the USWNT until Emma Hayes takes over?

Twila Kilgore will continue to serve as interim head coach until Hayes takes over. Originally, she was only going to serve as interim coach through the team’s already completed matches in October in Sandy and San Diego.

Upon Hayes’ arrival, Kilgore will become an assistant coach for the team, U.S. Soccer said.

What has Emma Hayes said about the USWNT?

Hayes wrote an opinion piece in The Telegraph in response to the U.S. team’s historically early exit from the 2023 FIFA World Cup and she didn’t mince words, per ESPN.

“There’s still a huge amount of talent in this U.S. team, but with so many of the squad playing solely in the NWSL, it doesn’t offer enough diversity to their squad in terms of playing against different styles,” she wrote. “Here in Europe, where you’re playing in different competitions, Champions League or cups, players aren’t going to be fazed by other things because they come up against different football week in, week out.”

After taking a shot at the NWSL, she turned her attention to the team’s personnel.

“Overall, I think America are massively short of creative talent,” she wrote. “When you’re playing against more well-organised teams, better-coached teams, you have to break them down, and that breaking teams down is a combination of strategy, tactics and personnel, and I don’t see that they’ve got the personnel to do that.”

What does the Emma Hayes hire mean for Olympics roster and Ashley Hatch?

That last excerpt from Hayes hints that a personnel overhaul could be coming for the U.S. In a Q&A with U.S. Soccer Tuesday, Hayes emphasized that players will have to earn the privilege of playing for the country during her tenure.

“Nobody has a right to play on the team,” she said. “It has to be earned from day one, and I want to see those habits on and off the pitch from the players, and I look forward to setting them that challenge because I know for them it’s a huge honor to play for their country and it’s going to be my job to bring the best out of them and I look forward to that moment.”

Hayes will already have to trim down the roster from the 23 players who represented the U.S. at the World Cup.

It is likely that roster sizes will revert from the 22 full-time players available for the Tokyo Olympics to the 18 full-time players and four alternates traditionally allowed at the Olympics, according to NBC Sports.

The four alternates would only see action as a replacement for an injured player, who would then be unable to return to competition, per The Associated Press.

Former BYU star Ashley Hatch is part of a crowded group of forwards competing for an Olympic roster spot. She may only have two games in front of Hayes before Hayes makes up her mind about the roster.

Six forwards were on this summer’s World Cup roster, and in 2021 and 2016, six and four forwards were taken to the Olympics, respectively.

Two of Chelsea’s forwards who have suited up for the U.S. but were not part of the team’s World Cup roster could also be in consideration when Hayes, their club team coach, assembles the roster.

In 2021, Catarina Macario went to the Olympics with the U.S. as a midfielder. In October, Mia Fishel scored her first goal for the U.S. in her second national team appearance after entering the game as the backup striker, Hatch’s usual role, the Deseret News previously reported.

What has Ashley Hatch said about making the Olympics roster?

Hatch was left off the U.S. team’s World Cup roster, but in October, she told the Deseret News that she is “hopeful” of her Olympic chances with a new coach taking over.

“I obviously wasn’t selected by the last one, so it gives me kind of a little bit of a renewed sense of hope that maybe this one will want me as part of the roster. But also, I understand that like there’s a lot of work that has to go in on my end to prove myself to whoever is the new coach,” she said. “It’s definitely a process that all of us players continue to go through year after year. I’m always going to be hopeful. That’s just the type of person I am, so we’ll see.”