US women’s soccer team victorious in first game under new head coach Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes’ reign as the new head coach of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) began in the best possible way as her team defeated South Korea 4-0 in her first game in charge.

Mallory Swanson, playing in her home state of Colorado, and Tierna Davidson scored two goals apiece to secure the friendly win, which Hayes described as a “good start” to her tenure.

“I think you can see we’re building something,” the former Chelsea manager told reporters afterwards. “There’s lots of work to do. There’s lots of holes in our play, no question, but it was a good start.”

“I thought we were controlled with what we did in the first half, we stuck to the structures, we stuck to the coaching,” she told broadcaster TNT Sports. “There were times maybe we could have played in behind in the right moments but going from underplaying to overplaying is usually the first step … Everybody did what I asked of them.”

After the USWNT had enjoyed several early chances, Swanson opened the scoring in the 34th minute, perfectly timing her run into the box and latching onto Sophia Smith’s pass to thread the ball into the net.

Mallory Swanson scored two goals in the match. - Rebekah Wynkoop/Sipa USA/AP
Mallory Swanson scored two goals in the match. - Rebekah Wynkoop/Sipa USA/AP

Two minutes later, Lindsey Horan’s effort was pushed wide by a diving Kim Jung-Mi, much to the disappointment of the sold-out crowd at DSG Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
They didn’t have to wait much longer to celebrate again, however, as Catarina Macário took the resulting corner, and Davidson’s header looped over the South Korean defense and into the net.

The USWNT’s third goal came from a similar position just after halftime as Swanson’s corner once again found Davidson who headed the ball in, before Swanson added her second goal of the match to round out the scoresheet.

It marked a promising start to Hayes’ time overseeing the USWNT, as she seeks to restore an aura of invincibility to the four-time Women’s World Cup winners after it failed to reach at least the semifinals of the tournament last year for the first ever time.

The USWNT will next play on June 4, facing South Korea once more as it prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics in July.

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