Could Wynalda's Next Title Be Expat?
When the Las Vegas Lights signed Eric Wynalda, it was seen as a bold move for a club looking to make a big splash in the USL Championship. At the time, Lights FC owner, Brett Lashbrook, praised the move as the next step in their growth. “Lights FC has big aspirations. And today’s announcement further signifies our commitment to create a professional soccer club that aspires to both make Las Vegas proud while becoming the next great American soccer success story...our expectations in year two must be raised higher. Eric joining Lights FC is a testament to the type of club we’ve built in year one.” Now less than a year after the hiring, the bloom may be off the rose in Las Vegas.
A source close to the situation has confirmed to Protagonist Soccer that multiple clubs in the German second division are considering Wynalda for a leadership position. Potential roles in 2. Bundesliga include head coach, technical director, or another front office role. That same source mentioned that Wynalda may be prone to consider these offers, because Light FC’s ownership has failed to live up to commitments made to Wynalda concerning his role and the treatment of the club’s players.
The 50-year-old Wynalda has had mixed success in Las Vegas, bringing a tremendous level of energy and the type of attention his high-profile name can harness; however the club has struggled to produce results. After a disappointing first season under head coach Isidro Sanchez, Las Vegas made the National Soccer Hall of Famer the second head coach at Lights FC. However, the less than stellar run of form has continued under Wynalda and the club sits in 14th position in the conference with a record of 7-9-5.
While the signing of Wynalda was a headline-grabbing move, the leadership at Lights FC needs to act quick to hold on to their big name manager. It is clear that other leagues across the world also see value in the former USMNT star and Lights FC must tend to their high profile coach and his concern for the players he manages or he may take one of these German clubs up on their offer and move on.
- Dan Vaughn
This is a developing story and will be updated to reflect any feedback or new information we receive from interested parties.