YNT Blog: The academy season in the Frontier Division doesn't begin until November, but what will you be watching for this fall?
Tim Regan: "I think Colorado Rapids will improve. They were a good club last year and probably under achieved in results. They play a positive style that in the long run will translate well; same for Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota. A lot of their year was getting used to playing in the Academy because they were a new club. Minnesota Thunder was a new team as well and you'd think all these new clubs form last year will be more comfortable now with the travel, with the opponents and with other different factors of playing in the Development Academy league. Shattuck plays in the fall and schedules friendly games against different opponents. I think that will benefit them this year too because they'll have more time together than some of their opponents. Also, Sporting Kansas City has a new affiliate club called Blue Valley SC and that broadens their player base. A couple more talented players can make a big difference in these teams and help sustain a high level of play during training and games throughout the entire season."
“Scott Gallagher Missouri had one of the better teams at the U-15/16 age group and it will be exciting to see how their new group of young players handles the step up into the Academy season. On the Illinois side of the river, SLSG Metro progressed well at both age groups last season and will likely do so again.”
YNT Blog: You are the technical advisor for Milwaukee and Chicago in the Great Lakes Division. What are some of the things to look out for with those clubs from the Great Lakes Division?
TR: I'm interested to see what happens in this city with the Fire, Sockers and Magic. The Sockers are a consistent club who will maintain their history of developing players in their program. Last year the Magic brought in some kids who were at the top of the U-17/18 age group and really helped their team. They also had Martin Vasquez who worked with them all the way through June before going to Real Salt Lake Arizona and working with the National Team. It will be interesting to see if his positive influence can be sustained and if the Magic can improve on last year. Another team that will have some change is FC Milwaukee, they’ll add a few players and continue improving as a club.
"The Fire had a good season last year. They had both teams in the playoffs and were solid all the way through. Victor Pineda is a player of theirs who was in the U-18 pool and is a Home Grown player as well. He trains with the pro team in the morning and during the Academy season he gets games with the Academy team."