Emma Hayes ushers in a new era for the US women’s national team with a dominant 4-0 victory

The U.S. women’s team defeated South Korea 4-0 in an exhibition match before the Olympics as Emma Hayes made her bow as coach of a team eager to make a comeback after recent disappointments. A sold-out crowd in Commerce City, Colorado got its first glimpse of Hayes, whose side took the lead through Mallory Swanson after a pass from Sophia Smith in the 34th minute.

The Americans’ confidence grew and defender Tierna Davidson doubled the lead from a set-piece four minutes later, before adding a header early in the second half. Swanson scored again in the 74th to put the icing on the cake. Hayes, who put on display her famous animated personality, looked cheerful as she gave instructions to the players.

The former Chelsea coach was appointed in November but only joined the US team in full force last month after winning her seventh WSL title with the west London club. The 47-year-old, who has said she does not want to change the team’s ‘American DNA’, took charge of a motivated squad ready to put last year’s dismal World Cup performance behind them.

With less than two months before the four-time gold medalists open their Olympic campaign against Zambia in Paris, Hayes proved that despite having little time to get to know the squad, she is capable of leading them to success. The U.S. plays South Korea again on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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