Eric Wynalda: “I cannot rejoin the team at this time and need to be with my family.” (Photo courtesy of NAFC)

By Michael Lewis Editor

So much for Eric Wynalda adding a little spice to a supposedly new area soccer rivalry.
The former U.S. international and New Amsterdam FC parted ways Monday for personal reasons.

NAFC will make its National Independent Soccer Association fall season debut against the Cosmos at the Hudson Sports Complex in Warwick, N.Y. Friday at 6 p.m.

Sporting director Max Mansfield will run the show as interim head coach as Wynalda returned to Las Vegas.

“I cannot rejoin the team at this time and need to be with my family,” Wynalda said in a statement.

“Starting a new club is one of the biggest challenges in the professional soccer business,” he said. “Full credit to Max Mansfield and Laurence Girard on launching New Amsterdam FC during a pandemic. I look forward to watching NAFC grow and evolve as a club.”

New Amsterdam FC founder and owner Laurence Girard said he understood Wynalda leaving the expansion team.

“We’d like to thank Eric for his belief in our vision for providing opportunities for local players to pursue their dream of playing professional soccer in the U.S. and overseas,” he said in a statement. “Albeit a short experience, Eric’s professional trainining sessions helped elevate the level for our players and staff, in turn setting a standard for the club as we prepare for the fall NISA season. We wish Eric all the best and look forward to staying in contact.”

NAFC and the Cosmos have met once before, playing to a 1-1 draw in the NISA Independent Cup in Warwick Aug. 2.