During Cal FC's miraculous U.S. Open Cup run, head coach Eric Wynalda repeatedly said he wasn't auditioning for a bigger and better job. He got one anyway. Wynalda, who has never coached professionally, was named the interim manager of the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks on Monday.
"I’m absolutely thrilled for this opportunity with the Silverbacks; it was truly one that I didn’t want to pass up," Wynalda said in a statement. "This is a case of an under-performing team, and I’m honored that the club chose me to take on the challenge of turning things around and helping the Silverbacks fulfill their potential on the field."
The opportunity came open when the Silverbacks fired their manager, Alex Pineda Chacon, and the director of soccer operations on Sunday after they had started the season 1-8-5 and were sitting in last place of the eight-team NASL.
The press release says Wynalda will be in charge of all soccer-related decisions, including finding a permanent head coach. He recently signed a three-year contract extension with Fox Soccer Channel and apparently is expected to resume those duties once the Silverbacks' season ends.
Wynalda is also involved with the NPSL's San Diego Flash, who have recently made rumblings about moving up in the soccer world.