We Just Had a Twitter Dustup with Eric Wynalda

Earlier this afternoon, we came across the following Tweet from National Soccer Hall of Famer and Fox broadcaster Eric Wynalda:

@Wynalda11: I wanna go on the record and announce that I was a HORRIBLE soccer player. Can I now be considered for an MLS coaching position?

Now, Wynalda’s desire to become a head coach has been common knowledge for some time. We interpreted his Tweet as a dig at former MLSers Jay Heaps and Jesse Marsch, both of whom were recently hired as MLS head coaches with little (Marsch) to no (Heaps) previous coaching experience.

Sure, neither Heaps nor Marsch had as distinguished a playing career as Wynalda, who was the alltime leading scorer for the USMNT until 2008, and who scored this goal, which we contend is one of the best, and most important, goals in US Soccer history.

But Waldo’s comment struck us as an unfair shot at the two new hires, who were solid American players. So we Retweeted it with the following hashtag: #sourgrapes?

Apparently the Twitter mic was on, because Wynalda’s response was immediate:

@JohnEM12: sour grapes? What are you an idiot?

We were taken aback at the swiftness and severity of the reply (and the fact that a US Soccer legend had directly asked us if we were “an idiot”), but we pulled together the following response:

@Wynalda11: My wife says yes, yes I am. But can you clarify your tweet?

Then we waited—and waited—for a response. Nothing.

We were just about to forget about it, but then, on Wynalda’s feed, we noticed the following Tweet, directed at someone named LAKingsJunkie:

@LAKingsJunkie: yeah, that came off wrong. We are all idiots when it comes to wives. I meant, of course I am bitter.

Now, you have to keep in mind, Wynalda has more than 5,000 Twitter followers (we have literally dozens), and he’s constantly bantering with them. Could he have posted his second reply to the wrong person?

The more we thought about it, the more the answer seemed to be yes.

The Tweet was not connected to a previous conversation between him and the LAKingsJunkie person (we checked), and look at the reference to “idiots” and “wives”—that couldn’t be a coincidence. It’s gotta be a response to our comment.

And then there’s the final sentence: He’s bitter that guys like Heaps and Marsch are walking into coaching jobs almost immediately after hanging up their boots while he’s had no luck landing one.

So even though he accidentally sent it to the wrong person, we still got his clarification.

Thanks Waldo.

Unless of course our deductive reasoning is faulty here.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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7 comments on “We Just Had a Twitter Dustup with Eric Wynalda

  1. Prison Mike says:

    It was definitely directed at you / us, but to be clear: #prisonmikedoesnotreallyunderstandtwitter @backpost.come

  2. refbaiter says:

    he has apparently alienated a lot of people, because he never gets a serious sniff at these jobs. but his rants like this probably only make clubs more reluctant to hire him.

  3. You know, I haven’t followed Wynalda outside of watching him as an announcer. Is he just a jerk, or what’s the deal here? His response seems juvenile and defensive. It reminds me of a high-school bully who feels he’s owed something and will tear down others who achieve something.
    Anybody have context about his personality?

  4. backpost says:

    DHDP: He has a history of loose-cannon comments, and this one fits right into it. He was a great player for the USMNT, but apparently a lot of league execs believe he doesn’t have the temperament for a head-coaching gig.

  5. RB says:

    He always seemed to be just barely reigning himself in during the Fox Soccer half time shows. Can you say, “loose cannon”?

  6. ricklomar says:

    eric’s one of my all-time favorites for those reasons you mention. the guy’s honest and speaks directly from the heart. i can’t knock him for that. however, as you guys point out, he’s probably not helping his cause by publicly hating on those new hires. his fans are right there with him feeling his pain. we’ll say the things he wants to say but that he shouldn’t. he did bring up an excellent point the other day, that it sucks to be a pioneer. that’s definitely the case in soccer. by what i’ve gathered, there really aren’t any players of his generation in head coaching positions. that’s kind of odd.

  7. backpost says:

    That’s a great point about the “Pioneer” generation. Guys like Harkes, Balboa, Joe-Max, Cobi, Wynalda et. al. havent gotten head-coaching positions. There are some exceptions: Robin Fraser is head coach at Chivas USA, and Tab Ramos is head coach of the US U-20s, while Claudio Reyna is US Youth Technical Director (not a head coaching job, but a big one). Could be changing.

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