The 2018 NASL expansion team coming to Orange County announced on Tuesday the appointment of Michael Collins as team president and general manager.
Collins, 55, joins the new team from LA Wolves FC, the local amateur club that had previously been linked to the NASL expansion effort. Collins had been the Wolves head coach, stepping aside to help lead the expansion push behind the scenes alongside Peter Wilt, which was clinched earlier this month when NASL announced the new team will begin play in the spring season of 2018.
“I have tremendous respect for club owners Bronwyn and Pete Capriotti and their commitment to local soccer,” Collins said in a statement. “We are going to build a club that is fan-first, player-centric and community-oriented. I’m really looking forward to developing connections with the local communities. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to lead this club in an incredible era of soccer in this country.”
Collins had a long playing career, but it largely came in the gap between the original NASL’s demise and the advent of MLS. He played a mixture of outdoor and indoor soccer between 1980-97, and picked up two senior U.S. Men’s National Team caps in 1988. Among his stops, he played for the Los Angeles Lazers and the San Diego Sockers.
“Bronwyn and I are thrilled to bring in someone with Michael’s level of knowledge and expertise,” team owner Pete Capriotti said. “He has dedicated his life to soccer and has nearly 40 years of experience at all levels of the sport, so we feel fortunate to have him leading the charge.”
It sounds like more details of the new team will be dropping this summer, likely to include an official name for the club. With less than a year before the team first takes the field for game action, there should be much more news coming soon.
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