Emma Hayes contract, salary with USA: New USWNT head coach set for landmark women's pay record

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Emma Hayes of Chelsea with the FA WSL trophy
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The United States women made a splash with their new coach hire, snatching Chelsea's legendary women's head coach Emma Hayes from her club position ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

With Vlatko Andonovski axed following the disappointing Round of 16 exit at the 2023 Women's World Cup, the USWNT is in a period of transition not seen for decades, if ever. U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker has tabbed Hayes as the person to turn the program around.

In doing so, U.S. Soccer has broken new ground in the equal pay battle, setting a new women's football pay record with the move.

The Sporting News details everything we know about the newest leader of the acclaimed U.S. women's international program reeling from recent failures.

MORE: Who is Emma Hayes? Career record, trophies, tactics of new USWNT head coach

Emma Hayes USA contract, salary as USWNT head coach

With Emma Hayes confirmed as the next USWNT head coach, we have some information about her contract with the U.S. Soccer federation.

We do not know the length of the deal, but according to reports by The Washington Post and The Athletic, Hayes has agreed to a "long-term contract" with U.S. Soccer. A later Washington Post report furthers that a bit, saying her deal runs "at least through the 2027 Women's World Cup."

While U.S. Soccer did not confirm the exact figure of Emma Hayes' salary, the federation did state that her salary made the 51-year-old the highest paid women's soccer coach in the world.

Forbes reports that Hayes' salary will match that of U.S. men's head coach Gregg Berhalter, which was listed as $1.6 million for the 2022 calendar year, although there is speculation that he received a raise of unknown value as part of his new contract.

Will Emma Hayes USWNT salary equal Gregg Berhalter?

Prior to U.S. Soccer's official confirmation of Emma Hayes as head coach, both The Washington Post and The Athletic reported her salary would be close to or equal to that of men's head coach Gregg Berhalter, while The Philadelphia Inquirer claimed that equal pay was "on the table."

Following her official appointment, others went further. Forbes reported that Hayes would indeed have a salary equivalent to that of Berhalter.

Gregg Berhalter's current salary under his most recent contract isn't yet known, having signed a new deal earlier this year. He's likely making equal to or more than his $1.6 million salary which existed on his previous deal that ended following the 2022 World Cup.

While the USWNT players had secured a landmark collective bargaining agreement back in 2022, the coaching world had not yet achieved similar equality.

Former U.S. women's head coach Vlatko Andonovski reportedly made around $450,000 per year. As such, anything even close to Berhalter's figure represents a colossal increase from previous figures, and would signal a new era in women's football coaching.

MORE: US soccer equal pay explained: How revenue is divided so that USWNT and USMNT players earn the same money

When will Emma Hayes start as USWNT head coach?

U.S. Soccer confirmed that Emma Hayes would begin her tenure as USWNT head coach following the conclusion of Chelsea's club season in the spring. That gives her just four matches in charge before the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics.

However, she has already begun to integrate herself into the role, and U.S. Soccer confirmed that Hayes was involved in the construction of the USWNT roster for the December friendlies against China.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have confirmed that Hayes will depart the club at the end of the season, which would likely be sometime in mid-May depending on their progression through the UEFA Women's Champions League and their status in the FA Women's Super League (WSL) title race.

With football at the 2024 Olympics beginning on July 24, that represents a very tight turnaround, which is less than ideal from a USWNT standpoint.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore will play a role in the transition to Hayes over the coming months, but the rest of the logistical process will take some creativity and planning to execute smoothly and give the USWNT a chance to perform its best in Paris next summer.

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Kyle Bonn is a soccer content producer for The Sporting News.