U.S. women’s national team defenders Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper do not believe that the size of the goal and pitch should be made smaller for the women’s game.
"There is one obvious reason why women play on the size of pitches and goals that we see now. That is what we were given. And maybe no one ever thought to question whether it makes sense,” Hayes wrote.
“But if you look at some other sports, someone must have decided one day that, actually, it would be daft to get women — average height in the UK 5ft 3in compared with 5ft 9in for men — to run over the same sprint hurdles in the Olympics. The women’s hurdles were made to be nine inches shorter, 33in compared with 42.”
Dunn, who played for Hayes at Chelsea between 2017 and 2018, disagreed with her former manager’s opinion, citing the heroic performance from Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler in Sunday’s game against the USWNT.
“I know Emma Hayes really well, played under her at Chelsea,” Dunn said Tuesday.
“Those are obviously her opinions and I personally don’t agree with it. You guys have seen the Chilean goalkeeper do some incredible things against us – dang it!” she said with a laugh.
Endler made several highlight-reel saves in the second half of Sunday’s game in Paris, ensuring the U.S. only won 3-0 on a night when they could have scored many more.
“She had an amazing game and for anyone to think that our goals should be smaller or our field should be smaller in any way, I personally don’t agree,” Dunn said.
"For a goalkeeper to be able to compete at that level and save as many saves as she can against us, I think it’s incredible and that’s just a testament that the goals are exactly the size they need to be, the pitch is the size that it needs to be.”
Dunn’s teammate Dahlkemper agreed with her fellow defender’s assessment.
“I think they absolutely should be the way that they are,” Dahlkemper said. “Personally I agree with everything that Crystal said.
“You see these breakout players like the Chilean goalkeeper and that's the quality and level that women’s soccer has imposed and I feel that’s incredible.”