Watterson Accepts Role as Assistant to the Head Coach of Lone Star Republic
Considering his resume and connection to the club, it should be no surprise that Zach Loyd was named Head Coach of Lone Star Republic. A former US National Team, FC Dallas, and Atlanta United player, Loyd enjoyed a fantastic 8 year career as a professional, including 7 years at FC Dallas and even being capped by the US National team. Since retiring from professional play in 2017, he has been coaching all over DFW in various capacities and volunteering significant time to youth development in underprivileged communities.
However, you’d be surprised at how difficult the decision was to announce him within the club.
“I always thought he was my assistant,” said Tyler Watterson. “When we met for coffee I never asked him to be my head coach. He just came to practice a few days later and started coaching.”
To be fair, the odds were stacked against Watterson for the coaching role. For starters, Loyd had already set up the training session and finished the warm up by the time Watterson arrived the first day, making things difficult for him.
“Yeah, that was probably a mistake,” Watterson said. “It’s hard to establish dominance when you’re late like that.”
Despite Zach Loyd’s experience with the US National Team, FC Dallas, and Atlanta United, you would think Watterson would have relinquished control of coaching, technical directing, and literally anything else Loyd might ask for, but the CEO in him had other ideas.
“I really felt like I might be the best person for the job,” said Watterson, who, by the way, is also CEO of LSR. “Sure, Zach has MLS experience and has done some coaching, but has he gone unbeaten in NTPSA divisions 2 and 3 for like 18 months with 2 teams? Probably not.”
While that is technically true, it is still odd LSR didn’t make the announcement until 3 days before their first home game at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. Loyd has been coaching this group for almost 6 weeks now, so the decision is understandable.
“We kept forgetting to ask him if we could put his picture on our website and Instagram,” said Watterson, who is also the Director of Marketing. “That slowed the process down a bit. But I also wanted more time to think about this decision.”
Zach Loyd was introduced to LSR one morning in January at Communion Coffee Shop in Richardson, Texas by Yingsong Kaping, a local pastor, youth coach, former player at UTD in Richardson, and now star midfielder and captain for LSR.
“Ying and I were thinking about trying to put together a UPSL team in the Fall, but Watterson had already paid the league fee and the jersey is pretty sweet,” said Zach Loyd, unofficially. “I don’t really care about the rest of his stuff.”
Through the partnership with Loyd and Kaping, the prospective UPSL roster went through a dramatic change in which most of the original LSR players were forced out almost immediately by Loyd and Kaping’s group of ridiculously skilled and fit players.
“It was a lot like that Office episode where Robert California replaces Andy, Darryl and Kevin with real musicians in the warehouse,” said Scott Smith, President and defender for LSR, who has unfortunately been watching everything from the sidelines while he recovers from a devastating ACL injury suffered in the Fall.
Except that in this situation, most of the players were willing to sacrifice their playing time for the betterment of the club. And because Zach Loyd makes those decisions now.
“I just better get some playing time when my foot is fully healed,” said Watterson.
For now, he has accepted his own generous offer to be LSR’s first head coach of their second inaugural UPSL North Texas Central Conference League One team starting in Fall 2019, assuming this group gets promoted to the Championship division after this season.
Lone Star Republic plays in the UPSL North Texas Central Conference League One and is sponsored by the fictional Airline North Texas, Inc., a shell airline brand rumored to be registered at the Addison Airport. It’s home field is at the beautiful Greenhill School in Addison, Texas and the team plays its home games on Friday nights at 7:30pm. Their next home game is March 29th against Azul City Premier FC based out of Fort Worth, Texas. The full schedule can be found at www.lonestarrepublic.com.