USL outfit Las Vegas Lights FC has made a big splash to kick off their offseason, hiring a big name in American soccer circles to help improve on a rough first season in existence.
The Lights have signed former U.S. Men’s National Team forward Eric Wynalda as their new head coach and technical director, announcing the hire on Wednesday.
Wynalda earned 106 caps for the USMNT, playing in three World Cups during his career. Domestically, he played for German outfits FC Saarbrücken and VfL Bochum while also playing for the San Jose Clash, New England Revolution, and Chicago Fire in North America.
Following his playing career, Wynalda went into coaching as he began with amateur club, Cal FC. He led Cal FC to a fourth-round upset of the Portland Timbers in the U.S. Open Cup, before moving to the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL.
“Honored and humbled to become a part of the Las Vegas Lights FC family – it’s a club with great ambition. Personally, Las Vegas was home for me for many years – to have the chance to come back and build something in the city I love is truly a unique opportunity,” Wynalda said.
The Lights concluded their 2018 USL season with a 1-0 loss to the Sacramento Republic last weekend. In their debut USL season, Lights FC finished 15th in the Western Conference with 31 points through 34 matches.
“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,” said Las Vegas Lights FC Owner and CEO Brett Lashbrook. “We are incredibly thankful for the community’s support in our inaugural season, but 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.”