May 15, 2008 – Having led her teams to a several European titles, Arsenal Ladies coach Emma Hayes will bring her expertise to Chicago as the inaugural head coach and director of soccer operations for Chicago Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).
Chicago general manager Marcia McDermott announced the hire today at Toyota Park, where the franchise will play when the WPS season begins in April 2009.
“Emma has succeeded at every level she has coached,” McDermott said. “We feel she has the right experience, the passion and the knowledge to be a great leader for our club. She is prepared to take on the challenge of building a professional team from the onset.”
Hayes, 31, said it took a special opportunity to lure her away from Arsenal.
“This will be the best league in the world, with the greatest players, the best facilities and the biggest challenge,” Hayes said. “All of that will make this the league the rest of the world will watch.”
Since 2006, Hayes has served as first team assistant coach and academy director at the FA’s Women’s Premier League’s top-ranked Arsenal Ladies Football Club in London, England. Hayes helped to guide the Lady Gunners to an undefeated League record and won every competition England has to offer. Previously, she spent six years coaching in the United States, from the grass roots level all the way through the W-league and Division 1 college level.
In her tenure at Arsenal, Hayes helped to guide the Lady Gunners to the following honors:
• 2007 UEFA Women’s Cup Winners
• 2007 FA Women’s Premiere League Cup Winners
• 2007-2008 London County FA Women’s Cup Winners
• 2006-2007-2008 FA Women’s Premier League Champions
• 2006-2007-2008 FA Women’s Cup Winners
• 2006 FA Women’s Community Shield Winners
The bilingual (Spanish and English) Hayes is a 1999 graduate of the University of Liverpool with a BA in European Studies, Sociology and Spanish.