The RadioShack of Soccer Returns as 2013 NSCAA Convention Lecturer
Eric Wynalda Says 'If You Got Questions, I've Got Answers!'
It used to be Eric Wynalda would say anything, just to see if you were listening.
Today, Eric Wynalda is much more than a television figurehead for soccer in America.
He is a soccer broadcaster and a soccer coach worth listening to.
“Last year at the NSCAA Convention (in Kansas City), more than 400 people showed up for my lecture,” said the easily recognizable Wynalda, seen almost daily on FOX Soccer. “My topic in Kansas City was ‘Why not us?’ in looking at why US Soccer and Major League Soccer weren’t further along in their world-wide impact.
“I tackled the topic head-on and there were people in the crowd coming right at me, but I handled every comment … even every criticism … and by the end … nearly everyone there was on their feet understanding that we need to be in this together.”
Of course, the NSCAA gladly welcomed Wynalda back as a featured lecturer for the 2013 NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, January 16-20. Wynalda says he will not disappoint attendees in his Thursday, Jan. 18 session at 2:30 p.m.
So, what will he focus on this year in Indianapolis?
“Anything and everything,” Wynalda replied. “I have a general theme of talking about how MLS should ‘buy low and sell high’ to grow the sport in this country. And, I also look forward to comparing what countries like Holland and Uruguay have done relative to the United States.
“But more than anything, I’d like to use the catchy RadioShack® theme: If you got questions, I got answers.”
You get the feeling that Wynalda might be more like the old EF Hutton commercials: When Eric Wynalda talks, people listen.
“Yeah, I like that, too,” Wynalda said. “But the thing is, I try really hard to make people understand that I am not a bitter former soccer player. I have been through it at every level, so I know what it is like, and I know what it takes, and I have the experience to help. I want to help make our country a true soccer power. That’s always been my mission and I won’t stop until it happens.”
Wynalda’s ability to express himself has never really been in doubt. He did it on the soccer field as one of the USA’s most prolific scorers leaving the USA as their one-time scoring leader with 34 goals in 106 appearances. He did it with passion. Who could forget his red card in the USA’s first game at the 1990 World Cup in Italy?
Video Profile Courtesy of WLS WeLiveSoccer
He did it as the top color commentator for ESPN before being unceremoniously dropped. And, he does it today as one of FOX Soccer’s featured broadcasters.
He also plans to express himself in Indianapolis.
“I want the members of the NSCAA to ask me anything they want to talk about at this year’s Convention,” Wynalda said. “I want the US to be the best in the world. And, you can expect more of that kind of message at my lecture this year (at the NSCAA Convention).”
Wynalda doesn’t hide the fact that he’d like to be a MLS head coach someday. And, his recent success with Cal FC, a Southern California amateur club, has put him a step closer to that dream. Cal FC defeated MLS’s Portland Timbers, 1-0, in the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in a match that some insiders call the greatest U.S. Open Cup soccer upset of all time.
“I am different as a coach,” Wynalda said. “I am not a bombastic TV guy when I coach. Working on TV is a different gig. When I coach, I understand the job and I am good at it. More important than anything else, I enjoy it. I love to coach.”
Wynalda also gained valuable experience last season coaching the North American Soccer League’s Atlanta Silverbacks in their final 13 games.
“Coaching with Atlanta and Cal FC totally reinvigorated my excitement for the game,” Wynalda said. “Being a part of the training sessions, the pregame planning, the in-game tactical changes, it was thrilling…and so much different that sitting in a studio. I loved it.
“And, I want people to know that I am coming to the NSCAA Convention, not just as television personality. I am also coming as a coach. A coach that cares about the positive direction of soccer in this country. So, if you are a coach that cares about the same thing, then you should come, too.”
Have a question ready for Thursday, Jan. 18 session at 2:30 p.m. Wynalda will be sure to have an answer.
Register today at NSCAA.com/convention/registration.