Wynalda takes job with ambitious Sinaloa club

[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.”

15 comments about "Wynalda takes job with ambitious Sinaloa club".
  1. Paul Lorinczi, September 28, 2010 at 8:20 a.m.

    Fascinating...US Soccer has forwards that can not score. One of its all-time leading scorers can't find a job coaching forwards how to to score in the US.

  2. Nikolaus Gabris z, September 28, 2010 at 9:08 a.m.

    Agree with your comment Paul. US Soccer will never achieve the goals that are possible with a bunch of ego driven, self centered,insecure upper management individuals that are more concerned about job security and covering each others behind. How long has it been that we have heard the same names in the ranks? Where is the new blood? Time for house cleaning?

  3. Lisa Wu-fate, September 28, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.

    Agree with Paul's comment...interesting commentary on the state of US Soccer. Good luck, Eric!

  4. Mark N, September 28, 2010 at 10:12 a.m.

    Good comment, Paul, but Nik, in Wynalda's playing days I would have used "ego-driven" and "self-centered" to describe him as well. There must be more to him not being able to stick (yet?) in the US.

    And yes, good god, it's time for house cleaning. Maybe Wynalda (and others?) being forced to open connections to latinos will be the thing USSF needs in the long run.

  5. Robert Rizzuto, September 28, 2010 at 10:12 a.m.

    Excellent (and sadly hilarious) comment Paul! Wynalda has always spoken his mind, which is why I loved him as a commentator. US Soccer in particular needs someone who'll stir things up; hopefully he'll get his chance after the current bunch are gone.

  6. James Froehlich, September 28, 2010 at 11:26 a.m.

    Ditto Robert R. ---- Loved Wynalda as a color commentator because he actually called a bad pass a "bad pass" not "a defender intercepted it". He definitely doesn't fit in with the US Soccer bureaucrats and now they're getting their revenge.

  7. Gus Keri, September 28, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.

    Hiring a goal scorers to teach others how to score doesn't help much. It's either in you or not. Liverpool once hired Rush, the greatest goal scorer in Liverpool history, to help in this exact matter. And we all know the result. Only born talented goalscorers can do the job.

  8. Walt Pericciuoli, September 28, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.

    Self centered, ego driven, selfish all exactly the correct traits for a goal scorer. Traits that are coached out of our current crop of youth players by our current core of self centered, ego driven, selfish coaches. You would think one more added to the mix couldn't hurt. Wouldn't Jurgen bring pretty much the same set of traits as Eric? Like Jurgen, Eric has the playing resume to back up his arrogance. He needs a chance to gain coaching experience. However, also like Jurgen, I doubt Eric could be controlled by US Soccer.I enjoyed him on Fox Football Phone In as some one who spoke his mind. A refreshing new look at the state of US Soccer and it's youth development programs. I hope he does well and someday gets the chance to prove himself.

  9. Alan Cahill, September 28, 2010 at 12:35 p.m.

    No question EW best American English-speaking colour commentator I have yet heard on the air. I think he would be fascinating to play for - Mourinho type personality....

  10. Karl Ortmertl, September 28, 2010 at 2:47 p.m.

    I liked Eric on FFF and wish him well. Hopefully, this springboards Eric to a nice career as a coach. I do disagree with him on the amount of physicality you want players to display on the pitch, i.e. I think Eric leans towards the goonier side, but that's the way things are in this world. Hopefully, he'll be a bridge to Latino players for the US National team, but I don't remember him being big on the Latin style of play on the FFF show. He was more of a Bundesliga smash mouth type.

  11. Bill Anderson, September 28, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.

    Paul, Bravo! Bravo! It isn't that Wynalda could work miracles, but the idea that we shouldn't even give him a chance to fail, that I find absurd. US Soccer is a closed club that bristles with anguish and anger at anyone or anything that could bring change.

  12. David Huff, September 28, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.

    Eric Wynalda is definitely not liked nor appreciated by the USSF crowd, his blunt criticisms of Bruce Arena's WC 2006 performance particularly come to mind. Wynalda played in Mexico and I think he will do fine there as a coach, going to MLS would be a step down.

  13. Nikolaus Gabris z, September 29, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.

    Mark....you are absolutely right! as a former player, ego, self centered, that is what is needed in a good (great) forward to give them that mental edge. Think of all of the great scorers that you can think of, they all have that "edge". Clean House Now, or we will have another mediocre Worl Cup.

  14. Mark N, September 30, 2010 at 11:38 a.m.

    I disagree, Nik. I don't know what it is that they all have, but I think the common traits are more like pure belief and desire than arrogance and ego. I don't know any top players personally, so this is no definitive judgement, of course. But for every Romario, Cantona, Ibra, or Adebayor, there is a Lineker, Bergkamp, Klose, or Rooney.

    That said, I wouldn't discard Wynalda because of arrogance alone. I'm not so sure about USSF though.

  15. Mark N, September 30, 2010 at 11:40 a.m.

    ...And I'm planning on another mediocre WC for USA regardless of who's at the top by then. It's who's at the bottom (player development) that's really keeping the lid on this program. That's why I hope Wynalda or someone can start opening up to the real talent in this country.

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