A two-time MLS Coach of the Year, new Las Vegas Lights FC Head Coach Frank Yallop previously served as a Head Coach in the USL Championship at Phoenix Rising FC. | Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC
LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Lights FC announced on Monday the appointment of Frank Yallop as the club’s new Head Coach for the remainder of the 2020 USL Championship season. At Yallop’s choice, he will not pursue the permanent position of Head Coach once the season concludes.
Yallop is one of only four coaches in MLS history to be named Coach of the Year more than once, joining Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley, both of whom led the United States Men’s National Team to the FIFA World Cup, and legendary coach Sigi Schmid. A two-time MLS Cup winner, Yallop previously served as Head Coach for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire, as well as the USL Championship’s Phoenix Rising FC.
“I am really excited that Frank will be leading Lights FC this season. His resume and experience speaks for itself,” said Lights FC Owner & CEO Brett Lashbrook. “My conversations with Frank this week have opened my eyes to the multitude of short and long-term benefits of this arrangement. It allows us to immediately get back to work on winning matches this season while providing more time for a comprehensive long-term solution.”
The 56-year-old started his decorated career as a successful player, including multiple seasons competing in England’s Premier League before coming to America to help launch Major League Soccer in its inaugural season. The British-born and Canadian-raised Yallop served as head coach of the Canadian Men’s National Team and is a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.
“I’m excited and can’t wait to get started,” said Yallop. “There is a great opportunity here to build upon the foundation set by Lights FC and its great fanbase. I know I can bring stability and insight into the Club and help position it for long-term success.”
Lights FC will resume its season in July with a 0-0-1 record after playing its season opener on March 7th in a 1-1 draw at San Diego Loyal SC where Las Vegas out shot its opponent by a 21-2 margin. Las Vegas has been placed in Group B for the Championship’s resumption, which will see it face off with Rising FC, the LA Galaxy II, Orange County SC and SD Loyal for a place in the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs.
“Frank agreeing to serve as our ‘caretaker manager’ for this season is a perfect solution to what was initially a difficult situation in the last week when our head coach position unexpectedly became vacant,” said Lashbrook. “First, hiring Frank sends an unmistakably clear message that we are taking the current season very seriously and this quickly puts us back into a position for immediate success. Second, it gives me time to do a more comprehensive search for our next full-time head coach — a decision that is absolutely vital. It is paramount we find someone that is committed to growing Lights FC long-term.
“Simply put, making that important decision under a time crunch in the middle of the season, during a global pandemic, wasn’t placing us in the best position for long-term success. I’m also excited to have someone with Frank’s great coaching experience to give me a candid assessment on all aspects of our soccer operations department this season to continue helping us grow.”
The search for Lights FC’s permanent head coach will be completed after the current season.