Strykers Head Coach Wright Brings in Clay Roberts as Consultant

by Gunnar Berndt

Long-time coach, administrator provides extensive expertise in indoor soccer  

Ontario, Calif. — The Empire Strykers today announced they have brought in Clay Roberts as a consultant. Having accepted an invitation from the Strykers’ head coach, Paul Wright, the vastly experienced Roberts joined training this week to assist with preparations for the next set of regular season games. Roberts is the long-time head coach of the Major Arena Soccer League’s (MASL) Florida Tropics SC, which is currently on hiatus, and has had key roles with several other teams. He is expected to remain with the technical staff through mid-January and then assist with analyzing game footage from his native Florida.

“I’d like to personally thank Clay for coming on board,” said Paul Wright, who is a legend of the indoor game and was tasked with overhauling the Empire roster during the offseason. “The game has changed a lot since I laced up, so I’m always open to input from those who know it best. Since Clay is intimately familiar with the teams and players in the MASL, I believe he will be a huge asset for us. The fact he has been in charge of a fast, athletic squad like ours makes this arrangement a perfect fit. Clay sees a lot of potential in our group and seems very excited to help. His expertise can only make us better.”

A former head coach with the women’s and men’s sides of Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University), Roberts held the same position with the MASL’s Tropics from 2016 until the announcement of the side’s break from play in April 2023. The former defender continues to serve as head coach of the men’s team at Florida’s Southeastern University, having held the position since 2014. He has also been vice president of the Ocala Stampede, director of soccer of VSI Tampa Bay FC, an assistant coach with the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s team, and head coach of the WPSL’s Buxmont Torch FC.

Roberts’ work at Southeastern University earned him the Sun Conference Coach of the Year award in both 2015 and 2019. Mere months after his second time receiving the honor, he was recognized as MASL Coach of the Year, having led the tropics to their first ever winning record (wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses: 18-2-1) and the Eastern Conference championship.

Said Roberts in a written statement, “I’m very grateful to Paul Wright for allowing me to be a small part of this intriguing project. I absolutely love the indoor game, and not being out on the training field has been challenging on a personal level. Having followed the Strykers closely in the past few months, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the direction of the club as well as with everyone’s ambition and enthusiasm. If I can contribute something of value to their efforts, it will be an honor and a joy.”

Clay Roberts will be on the sideline for Empire in its upcoming pair of must-win matches. After taking on host Dallas Sidekicks on Saturday, the team returns home for Tuesday’s clash with the Texas Outlaws. Tickets are available here.