Jenna Pel has confirmed that Mike Lyons is no longer the head coach of magicJack, something first reported by the Sun-Sentinel and brought to the digital world’s attention by Beau Dure (need anymore references?). Owner Dan Borislow told Pel the team will be collectively managed by a community of coaches and the senior players on the magicJack team. Lyons is still with the team, but only as a consultant.
It seems like yet another sign of chaos in a long line of head-scratching maneuvers by magicJack. This is the team that re-branded the most recognizable women’s club team in the country and move it to Florida, only to name it after an Internet phone company and refuses to communicate with the exterior world (although recently interviews have been granted). Needless to say, it is easy for fans to hate this team. It is also easy to look at this as yet another reason to call the team a joke, but it just might be a stroke of genius.
Work with me here: In no way am I saying this is the best possible situation for the magicJck. It only further removes legitimacy from the team in the eyes of mainstream media. But before everyone gets all up tight about Lyons being removed from his head coaching post, let’s flashback to the summer of 2009, when Sky Blue FC won the championship without a true head coach at the end of the season. The team was co-led by Lyons and center back Christie Rampone, who also happens to be on this magicJack team now. And actually, this team has a few familiar faces from that championship winning Sky Blue FC team: Lyons, Rampone, Kacey White and Megan Schnur.
Perhaps players coaching themselves is the way to go. If the end result is the same as Sky Blue FC’s in 2009, nobody in Florida will be complaining. With that said, USSF and WPS bylaws stipulate that head coaches must hold an A license or at be working on obtaining a USSF A license for completion within two years. There is an exemption, though: The rule does not apply to players. Looks like appointing another player-coach could be an easy way around that rule.
Either way, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions about this decision from magicJack. Honestly, it wasn’t too surprising. The most interesting angle is why the change came. According to the team, Lyons cited family reasons (his wife and kids live in New Jersey), but several sources in attendance at magicJack’s 2-0 win over Atlanta on Sunday noted that Lyons got into a verbal altercation with forward Abby Wambach, followed by an argument with the referees. That is yet to be confirmed as the reason why Lyons is no longer the head coach, but either way, this situation could just work for the still unbeaten (3-0-0) magicJack.