[MEXICO] Rebuffed in his efforts to coach in MLS or with U.S. Soccer, former U.S. international Eric Wynalda is taking up with a Mexican club.
Murcielagos, which plays in Mexico's Segunda División (third level), has hired Wynalda as its president of international operations. He says he will scout for players to be placed into the club’s player development system, and solicit player exchange programs as well as marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
“I met a lot of people down there when I was with the U-20s,” says Wynalda of a brief stint as assistant coach with U.S. under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen, who took a squad to Mexico last January. “I found it fascinating that there is so much American-Mexican talent in Mexico, players we didn’t know about.
“After I got back I got a call from Miguel Favela, who runs the club with his brother, Elias. They flew me down to Mexico City and I was very impressed with how they view the game and the development of players. They’re very ambitious about getting their team into the First Division, that’s their primary concern, but they also see opportunities to find talent. I think players will benefit from being placed with a competitive club for six months, which is what the program calls for initially.”
For the past few months, Wynalda has been consulting for Murcielagos, based in the city of Guamuchil in the state of Sinoloa. Meetings with national team coach Bob Bradley about a coaching position somewhere in U.S. Soccer didn’t lead to an offer.
Wynalda has been adamant for months that coaching is what he wants to do next. He says there has been some moderate interest from MLS clubs but doesn’t foresee a position opening up for him anytime soon.
“It’s kind of strange that I would end up in Mexico,” says Wynalda, “but I want to coach. If somebody down there thinks that you can contribute, that’s where you end up. Right now there’s just not a place for me in U.S. Soccer or in MLS.
“I’m excited about this, I really am. We want to expand the brand and open up player development opportunities in the U.S. I think the chance to play and train in Mexico will appeal to some players, and I think being involved with a club like this will be great for them and for me as well.”