lights fc Eric Wynalda
Photo Credit: Lights FC Twitter


Las Vegas Lights FC Part Ways with Eric Wynalda


The United Soccer League (USL) and the USL Players Association have recently come to a tentative agreement on resuming the 2020 season, with July 11 being the target date to return to action. However, the Las Vegas Lights FC will be taking the field with a new manager in charge.


lights fc
Photo Credit: Lights FC

With less than a month until the USL season is set to resume, Lights FC announced on Wednesday that they would be parting ways with Eric Wynalda after just one season at the helm.

Wynalda is a former United States National Team player and one of the more decorated players in its history. He scored 35 goals in 106 appearances, making him the all-time leading scorer in U.S. men’s history by the time of his international retirement.


This comes as a shock because Wynalda was believed to return this season as the Lights‘ manager. Before the coronavirus suspended the USL season, Wynalda and the Lights tied in their season opener against the San Diego Loyal, 1-1.


lights fc
Photo Credit: Lights FC

Last season saw the Lights miss the postseason after struggling to climb out of a hole from a slow start. They made a valiant effort, pushing for the playoffs very late in the season before falling short. Despite missing the postseason, Wynalda seemed to be a strong reason for the team’s improvement on the field and was a fan favorite amongst the club’s still fresh and growing, yet loyal fanbase.

Even though it was only his first season managing a club in its second year of existence, Wynalda seemed to build a connection with the city of Las Vegas and its people supporting them.

Something happened today. It is 100 percent my decision,” Las Vegas Lights FC owner Brett Lashbrook said. “I woke up this morning not anticipating this or wanting this to happen or knowing anything about this. By the end of the day, I felt like it was my choice and that it was the right thing to do,” via ESPN.


Lashbrook continued to say that his decision had nothing to do with the team’s finances due to the season being postponed from the coronavirus.


In his response, Wynalda said, “In Las Vegas, for Brett Lashbrook, it’s never been about soccer. I’m a soccer guy, and that’s the reason why we parted ways,” via ESPN.


lights fc
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

It seemed that Wynalda and Lashbrook had some disagreements about the club and about where the primary focus should be. In the past two years, Lights FC has been known as the team that dumps money onto the field from a helicopter to gain some attention from the city and league.

As an owner and businessman, Lashbrook provided these events to help expand the fanbase of the club.

On the other hand, Wynalda always cared about his players and how they performed on the field. Through hard work, he wanted to help build this new semi-professional soccer club into a serious contender and a team for which their fans could proudly cheer. His main priority was what transpired on the field while also building great relationships with his players and this community.

Lashbrook admitted that he recently asked the players to sign a waiver releasing the team from liability if they were to test positive for coronavirus. The players refused and turned the request over to the USL Players Association. Due to this, Wynalda and his staff were prohibited from holding formal practices.

Speaking on the matter, Lashbrook said, “If we’re practicing in a public park, which is where we practice, there has to be an acknowledgment of that risk,” via ESPN.


Lashbrook declined to comment when asked if Wynalda was running practices when he was not supposed to. One source that is close to the team said that Wynalda showed up while the team was training on Wednesday but only to drop off equipment.


lights fc
Photo Credit: MLS Soccer

Just four days before his firing, Wynalda posted on Twitter that he was going to take a hiatus from the social application to strictly focus on his family and job as the Lights manager. The tweet led many to believe that his manager. The tweet led many to believe that his firing came as a surprise to Wynalda as well as Lights FC fans.

The timing of it is far from ideal,” said Lashbrook. “We have a game next month,” via ESPN.

With Wynalda now gone, his overall record in Las Vegas was 11-15-9.


There is still no word on what the club’s plans are for replacing Wynalda with the season set to resume next month.


Stay tuned to Franchise Sports Media for developments.

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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24