Eric Wynalda fired as Las Vegas Lights FC head coach

Eric Wynalda was fired by the Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

When Las Vegas Lights FC returns to play in the USL Championship league, head coach Eric Wynalda won’t be with them. Wynalda was fired by the team Wednesday.

The team announced the news in a statement, and said it hopes to return to play later this season.

Wynalda, 51, was hired as the team’s head coach in 2018. He went 11-15-9 with the club. Wynalda coached the team’s only game in 2020, a 1-1 draw against the San Diego Loyal. The USL Championship shut down play shortly after that game. The league intends to restart its season July 11.

Owner Brett Lashbrook admitted to ESPN that the timing of Wynalda’s firing is less than ideal.

Reached by telephone, Las Vegas owner Brett Lashbrook said: "Something happened today. It is 100 percent my decision. 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."

Lashbrook added that the move had nothing to do with the team's finances, the league's return to play, or the coronavirus pandemic.

"The timing of it is far from ideal," Lashbrook added. "We have a game next month."

Prior to becoming a coach, Wynalda starred as a member of the United States Men’s National Team. He also played professionally for roughly two decades. Wynalda was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.

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