FC Wisconsin Coach Eric Wilde has accepted a new coaching position with professional outfit the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship. Wilde will join the Rowdies, who have developed into one of the USL Championship’s top teams, claiming back-to-back Eastern Conference titles to earn two straight appearances in the league’s championship final the last two years. Wilde will join the organization as a full-time Performance Analyst and Assistant Coach. The Rowdies are rank as the strongest and most successful professional organization outside of the MLS over the past few years.
Wilde joined FC Wisconsin in 2020, primarily working with the U13 through U18 RCP and ECNL teams. At the start of the 2021 season, Wilde became a full-time staff member, helping to develop and implement a video analysis and development program within the club's curriculum. Wilde has played a significant role in planning and providing both individual and team video analysis to help player development and performance.
Wilde is a native of Chicago, Illinois and was a member of the Marquette University Men’s Soccer Program graduating in 2006 with an engineering degree. Wilde was also the Assistant Coach and Performance Analyst for the professional team Forward Madison who play in the USL League One. Wilde had been with Forward Madison, who is the highest professional level soccer organization within the state of Wisconsin, since its inaugural season in 2019.
"I'd like to thank Ben, Billy, and the rest of the FC Family for all of the great experiences I have had at the club over the last two years. FC Wisconsin is a fantastic place to develop for both players and coaches and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside and exchange ideas with all of the other incredible coaches within the club. There is no doubt that my time at FC has certainly helped my development as a coach and played a part in my next opportunity,” shared Wilde. “It has also been a privilege to work with so many hungry and talented players that are willing to push each other every day in training to get better. It's this type of attitude that has helped make so many of the club's alumni successful at the college level. The environment at FC is unmatched in Wisconsin and the recent achievements of the club are there for all to see - from record numbers of college commitments, to best-ever performances from the RCP groups in the MWC this past year, to U15-U18 ECNL all qualifying for the National Playoffs - and I can't wait to see the continued growth and success of FC Wisconsin from afar."
Wilde becomes the fifth coach in the past five years to move on from FC Wisconsin to coach at the next level, whether that be collegiately or professionally. Most recently, Teren Shuster accepted a head coaching position with Briar Cliff University. Kevin Brennan is now the Women’s Associate Head Coach at Drake University, Josh Rohde became the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Rockford University, and current FC Wisconsin Coach Jamie Bladen became the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Cardinal Stritch University after becoming part of the FC staff. Wilde now becomes part of the conveyer belt of up and coming young coaches within the professional and college game that FC Wisconsin has helped to play a part in developing.
“Eric has played an important role in the recent success of FC Wisconsin, especially our RCP teams, alongside Director Neil Tolson. He has helped to implement a video analysis component within our club structure and curriculum, which we will be able to continue to utilize moving forward. This has and will continue to greatly help aid our players' development moving forward. Eric is an excellent young coach, a great teacher of the game and we have no doubt that he will go on to have great success in the professional game. As a development-driven club, our aim is to help develop not only players, but also aspiring young coaches. Eric is testament to this philosophy and we are extremely proud of what he has achieved. Everyone associated with FC Wisconsin wishes him the best of luck, “ said Co-Director of Coaching Ben Shepherd.
Co-Director of Coaching Billy Solberg also commented, “We certainly appreciate all that Eric brought to the players and the club during his time. He initially reached out to us, as he wanted to be in a better culture and learning environment. We are grateful for his passion and know that we certainly gave him a different perspective and what he was looking for in a coaching role. We wish him the best for future.”
Part of using a collaborative coaching philosophy within the club allows for coaches to help each other improve as coaches. When one of FC Wisconsin's coaches is able to reach one of their goals and be recognized for their work as a coach, it’s a tribute to the entire staff's professionalism, education, and support of one another.
FC Wisconsin wishes Eric the best of luck. He will always be a member of the FC Family!