Since being announced as the new manager / technical director of the Lights FC, Eric Wynalda has been all around Las Vegas doing interviews in English, Spanish, and a bit of German, but the U.S. Soccer legend wanted to take some time to answer questions from the team’s fan-base. So, Waldo took to Twitter to do a Q&A with Lights followers:
EW: “This is always a frequent question, a lot of flair. I think the team that represents this city will have a lot of flair. One of the things that we’d like to do, you always want to have talented players, but speed of play will be a big component of that and our team will certainly be on the offensive side of things, there will be a lot of goals scored”.
EW: “I think it's always a unique problem to have, because what you don't want to be is the team that’s just taking the players that aren't good enough for Major League Soccer anymore and then making them a part of your team. What we're trying to do is trying to find younger players who maybe were missed, and they missed that stage of development where they can flourish here and then end up having a different trajectory where maybe their starting point is here but they will end up going to Major League Soccer.”
EW: “I think looking at the league, as you know I watch everything, I was impressed with their ability going forward but not so impressed with the defensive side of things. I think having a balance and being able to defend appropriately is important … all my teams play that way. I do think this league is a lot stronger than people think, there's a lot of talent hidden away in some of these clubs you got to be prepared for. I've learned a lot from watching but it wasn't anything I didn't already know.”
EW: “Paolo Cardozo is a player I'm very familiar with, he did play in Major League Soccer. There were circumstances why he left in the first place and is now floating around in Los Angeles. I know him well because I coached him for 2 years, so he’s certainly on my radar, I did actually speak to him directly and those conversations will continue.”
EW: “I think that that is an incredible opportunity. UNLV, if you go back to the old Barry Barto years or even the here and now with Richie Ryerson, always has the ability to find great players and have a great team, some of those guys are going to certainly get an opportunity with the Lights and I think that’s important. Can’t overlook what UNLV has always stood for and that's getting guys that can really play this game in a high level. I’m looking forward to learning more from their team too.”
EW: “Well, I mean of course OCSC (Orange County SC). Braeden Cloutier has had a wonderful year, we had a pretty intense battle in the Open Cup 2 years ago, I'll be looking forward to that. My son's name is Braeden and that's for a reason, he’s a good friend and a good teammate, that’ll be a special occasion. Simon Elliott has done a great job at Sacramento too, that’s another guy that I think you can look at as a testing ground from where we stand, he’s done a terrific job with that team, so there’s plenty of opportunities in there. But I think Sacramento for what they’re trying to become, Los Angeles for the obvious reasons and OC because they’re good right now.”
EW: “A couple years ago I was up in Reno for their open tryout. We had a 66-year-old guys show up and try out, it was awesome. I think it is very important to do that and we want to be everybody's club, specially in this city. There’ll be a lot of people coming in from out of state.
Of course we’re going to have open tryouts, but that doesn't mean that we're going to leave it at that. We’ll still be scouring the pirate leagues to find players. If they don't come out to our tryout, we’ll go find them. I’m looking forward to the open tryout, but that's not all we’re going to do in the scouting department.”
EW: “I’m really keeping my eye on New Mexico, I have a lot of friends that are part of the State Association, so I think New Mexico has a wonderful opportunity. Mike Edwards, former vice-president of US Soccer is kind of leading the charge out there. They have some great facilities, they’ve always had interest and they have some great talent, so there’s a lot of potential in New Mexico. It’s great to see them organized and be a part of the league, and it’ll be a fun trip for us, even when we have to beat you”