United States
Carli Lloyd: Emma Hayes is 'the perfect candidate' to coach the USWNT
United States

Carli Lloyd: Emma Hayes is 'the perfect candidate' to coach the USWNT

Published Jan. 19, 2024 6:43 p.m. ET

Following an exit from the 2022 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the United States women's national team moved on from its head coach of four years, Vlatko Andonovski, and hired one of the most decorated coaches in women's soccer in Emma Hayes.

Hayes, a native of London, established herself as a powerhouse in the women's game with Chelsea, but her first head coaching job at the professional level was with the Chicago Red Stars in the United States' Women's Professional Soccer league. While she was there from 2008 to 2010, she coached Carli Lloyd, before Lloyd became a two-time World Cup champion, a two-time Olympic gold-medalist and U.S. Soccer icon.

"I got to play for her in 2009 in the WPS that folded," Lloyd said during an appearance on "Alexi Lalas' State of the Union Podcast." "Emma was coaching our team that had a lot of personalities. It was my first year at a club environment. I think we both learned a lot about ourselves and I think Emma has always gone back to that moment really making her into the coach she is today: having to manage big personalities, learning how to have those tough conversations."


Their time together was short-lived, as Lloyd joined New Jersey's Sky Blue FC and Hayes was sacked by the Red Stars in 2010, but Lloyd believes the qualities that Hayes displayed early in her career make her the "perfect candidate" for the USWNT "in this particular time."

"From a player-managing standpoint and being able to get everybody on board, from staff to players, she's definitely the one that's able to do the job," Lloyd said.

But Lloyd cautioned that even with the success that Hayes has had overseas and the talent within the USWNT player pool, the changing of the guard will be a process.

"Going into this summer's Olympics, let's be honest, they're not too focused on that," Lloyd said. "This is a long-term build to 2027, and it's going to take some time to get all of the pieces together."

You can listen to the full episode of "Alexi Lalas' State of the Union Podcast" with Carli Lloyd below.

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