After an 18-year professional playing career, Zayed will transition to the coaching ranks and lead Hailstorm FC in its inaugural season / Photo courtesy Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC
WINDSOR, Colo. - USL League One expansion club Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC today announced Ireland native and USL veteran Éamon Zayed as the team's first-ever head coach. Zayed, who holds a UEFA "A" coaching license, joins Hailstorm FC after spending the 2019 and 2020 seasons with League One's Chattanooga Red Wolves SC.
“I’m extremely excited to be here and to be a part of what I believe will be one of the most exciting franchises in all of USL, not just League One,” said Zayed. “I think USL League One is the fastest-growing and most exciting league in the United States. I’m here to build something that the community will be proud of, and I’m here to be successful and to win championships. I want to give the area a winning team.”
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Zayed's professional playing career spanned 18 years and took him to six countries in Europe and Asia before he made his way to the United States, joining Indy Eleven ahead of the 2016 season. His 127 career goals in the League of Ireland are the 23rd-most of all time.
After spending the 2018 season playing with the USL Championship's Charlotte Independence, Zayed played for Red Wolves SC in League One during the 2019 and 2020 campaigns before retiring as a player, and will now transition to the coaching ranks.
“This is my first head coaching role, but I believe I am 100% ready for this role,” said Zayed. “I think this role is absolutely perfect for me, and I genuinely cannot think of a better coaching role to get into. It’s a perfect marriage between myself and the Hailstorm.”
At the international level, Zayed made six appearances for the Irish Under-21 national team, and eight appearances for Libya's senior men's national team, scoring his lone international goal in 2013 in a 1-1 tie with Equatorial Guinea. His goal-scoring exploits throughout his career earned him the nickname, "Mr. Hat Trick."
Hailstorm FC will join the Northern Colorado Owlz professional baseball team in calling Future Legends Complex home when the 2022 USL League One season begins. Future Legends is a 118-acre sports complex in Windsor, Colorado, providing top-level athletic facilities for major tournaments, events, and leagues for players of all ages and skill levels. The complex includes a professional stadium, one collegiate stadium, multiple baseball diamonds, multi-purpose fields, an almost four-acre indoor bubble sports arena, hotel lodging, and retail options.