Emma Hayes has been officially named as the new head coach of the U.S. women’s national team. However, her duties as head coach do not begin until May — just two months before the U.S. women will be competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In the meantime, Twila Kilgore remains the interim head coach of the U.S. squad. And Hayes and Kilgore have plans to collaborate on team decisions until Hayes takes over.
“I have the ability to reach out to her at any time she will make time for me at any point and vice versa. We are very collaborative. We’re sharing information, knowledge sharing, in terms of the roster,” Kilgore said.
Hayes and Kilgore collaborated on the USWNT’s December camp roster that was released on Nov. 20. According to Kilgore, she made a roster and Hayes offered her thoughts.
“So there’s a provisional roster that comes out first, which I prepared,” Kilgore said. “I was able to share my ideas with Emma, [Emma was] able to share her ideas with me and we picked this roster collaboratively and we will do so moving forward.”
Hayes and Kilgore will continue to collaborate even after Hayes assumes her position as head coach as Kilgore will remain an assistant coach for the USWNT. And they have a lot in common when it comes to their visions for the team.
The December roster left off a notable quantity of USWNT veterans because Hayes and Kilgore have a similar idea; the team needs to be more creative when it comes to scoring chances.
“I think obviously both Emma and Twila have got their ideas around creativity of the team,” said Matt Crocker, the sporting director of the U.S. Soccer Federation. “And you know, what I will say is that the conversations that they’ve had already, there’s a huge amount of alignment.”
Until May, though, Kilgore is still the interim head coach who handles much of the daily work of maintaining the team. But Kilgore has made it clear that the roster could change at any moment, either in her or Hayes’ hands.
“I’m handling all the day to day and working within the group. So yes, I did call all the players that were in the previous camp that aren’t on the roster and explain to them why,” Kilgore said. “Those conversations are between coach and player but I will say that each and every one of them are professionals. They responded as professionals would they understand that we’re watching everything they do, everything matters, that they’re not out of the mix, and that there’s equal opportunity moving forward to make this roster.”