LONDON (AP) — Emma Hayes says she's focused on Chelsea and her young son — not the United States women’s national team.
Hayes plans to leave the Women’s Super League club after this season and said the reason is to spend more time with her 5-year-old son.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in the women’s game for people with children," Hayes said ahead of Sunday's game at Everton. "This is actually not a selfish decision, this is a selfless decision. This is about putting first some other things in my life and I’m ready for that.”
U.S. Soccer is closing in on naming Hayes as the new coach, a source familiar with the negotiations has told The Associated Press.
A week ago, Chelsea announced that Hayes will leave at the end of the season to “pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.”
Hayes was asked about the U.S. job at a press conference Friday.
“You know what my answer is going to be. I’m not going to comment on that,” she said. "I’m contracted to Chelsea until the end of the season, and that’s where my commitment lies right now.”
Hayes said she's been driving “four hours every day — six days a week for 12 years” and looks forward to more time with family.
“My little boy has been extraordinary to allow me to do this, but it’s challenging for him,” she said. “I’ve lived far away for a long, long time and I don’t get home until quite late six days a week. I just need to take stock and take check. For that reason, this is why I’m in the position I am.”
The 47-year-old Hayes took over Chelsea in 2012 and has led the club to six WSL titles. Chelsea reached the Women’s Champions League final in 2021, losing to Barcelona 4-0.
The WSL season runs until May. The U.S. hopes to hire a new U.S. coach well ahead of the Paris Olympics next summer.
Former U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski resigned following the Women’s World Cup this past summer. The United States, which had won two straight World Cups, lost to Sweden in the Round of 16, the earliest-ever exit for the Americans in the tournament.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
The Associated Press