all scores

Kristie Mewis on USWNT hire: Emma Hayes is ‘exactly what we need’

Emma Hayes is coaching rising USWNT star Mia Fishel with Chelsea during the 2023-24 Women's Super League season. (John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Kristie Mewis is excited to see what Emma Hayes will bring to the U.S. women’s national team.

While Hayes has yet to be announced as the team’s next coach, her impending departure from Chelsea has been confirmed. U.S. Soccer’s board of directors also has reportedly approved the hire.

In her 12 seasons with Chelsea, Hayes has led the club to six Women’s Super League titles and five FA Cup titles — including the last four WSL titles and the last three FA Cup titles. Mewis’ fiancée Sam Kerr has played under Hayes at Chelsea since 2020.

“She’s an outstanding coach and she has led Chelsea to so many championships and so many wins, and she’s a world respected coach,” Mewis said. “I’m super excited to see what she can bring to the team. She’s exactly what we need and I really just think that she’s going to take the team to the next level.”

USWNT forward Tobin Heath agreed, calling the hiring of Hayes a “no-brainer.”

“When I saw this announcement I thought to myself: ‘Great choice. No-brainer,’” she said. “Did I think she was available? No. So then I instantly kind of became a little confused as to the timing of when she would come. But when I think about Emma Hayes and the impact she’s had on the women’s game, and the success that she’s had at Chelsea, she’s a winner.”

England boss Sarina Wiegman, meanwhile, called the move “good for the women’s game.”

“For the bigger picture of the women’s game, I think it’s good,” she said. “What you hope is that with her visibility and with more coaches that are visible, that you get more female coaches that can do a great job. And whatever level you coach, we need more women in football. It’s a little bit sad for England and Chelsea, but it’s also good for the women’s game in general.”

And as far as who will lead Chelsea next, Hayes has said she’ll have a hand in picking the team’s next coach. It’s important to her that there is a succession plan in place to ensure that the team continues to dominate after her departure in May 2024.

“The time is right,” she said. “I will work with the club in the succession plan and do everything I can to make sure there is as good of a transition as possible so my successor can have the same level of success as I can.

“I think it will be so Chelsea of us to succession-plan my exit, so of course I will be involved in those conversations. It’s important that we really take the time to evaluate what the best fit will be.”