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What we learned from Emma Hayes’ debut on the sidelines for the USWNT

The United States topped South Korea on Saturday in the first game of the Hayes era.

5 min read

It’s been almost seven months since Backheeled broke the news that Emma Hayes would become the next manager of the U.S. women’s national team. 

During the waiting period between Hayes leaving her position with Chelsea and taking over the USWNT, we all began following a trail of breadcrumbs that would help us learn what the U.S. would look like under their new coach. We watched Chelsea tape. We took note of roster shifts and tactical tweaks. And, of course, we sunk our teeth into her media availabilities.

Now that Hayes’ first game on the sidelines is in the books, we’ve moved on from the breadcrumb trail and arrived at the actual loaf of bread. Sure, we’re just working our way through the end piece right now — there’s only so much you can learn from a 4-0 win over the 20th best team in the FIFA rankings. But for the first time, we got a real look at how the United States will play under Hayes.

So, I’m here to run through what we learned from Hayes’ debut on the sidelines for the USWNT. Next week, we’ll have even more comprehensive insights on this new era from our very own Blair Newman after the second friendly against South Korea.


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