Park City Red Wolves end inaugural season with a loss
Last Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the inaugural season of the Park City Red Wolves came to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Pride Switchbacks.
Despite the loss that ended their season at 3-6-3, head coach Patrick Rennie deemed the opening year a success.
“We had a great season overall. … I’m very pleased, happy and proud of all our players and coaching staff,” Rennie said. “For this being our inaugural season, we learned a lot about ourselves and can now use that to move forward for a better season next year.”
The season itself didn’t get off to the best of starts even before any matches were played.
The Red Wolves got the information that they were approved for the level-two tier of the United Soccer League later than other teams in the division. Because of this, Rennie and Bob Martino didn’t have much time to organize the Park City squad.
“Martino and his staff worked incredibly hard to get this season going. … I’m so thankful for all the hard work they put in,” Rennie said. “They were able to figure out all of the accommodations for the players, deal with all the travel arrangements and everything else that went into the day-to-day procedures of the season.”
Martino’s involvement was twofold.
As the owner of the Chattanooga Red Wolves, the division-one affiliate of the Park City squad in the USL, Martino was able to promote players from one team to the other, as he did with Alex Jaimes earlier in the year. This allowed him to help develop the Park City squad that would one day become beneficial to the success of the Chattanooga team.
Once the accommodations were all set in stone, the tryouts finished and the squad chosen, it became all about soccer.
An up-and-down season saw the Red Wolves get started on a high note with a 2-2 tie against in-state rival Ogden City SC in late May. Two days later, the Red Wolves picked up their first win of the season in their home opener, defeating Ogden City 2-1.
“That first game was exciting, getting out and finally being able to play against another team. … And then to win our home-opener, that was easily one of the top moments of the season,” Rennie said. “It was so rewarding because all the time and hard work we put into practice, we saw it come to fruition. …We learned a lot about ourselves and that we really could play well.”
Picking up a win and a tie the following weekend against Albuquerque Sol F.C. in Park City had the Red Wolves at 2-0-2 and looking like a true threat in the Mountain division. But what followed was a rough ending to the season as they went 1-6-1 to close the year, being outscored 22-11 the rest of the way.
“We experienced a little dip in form over the last part of the season with so many moving parts and injuries piling up,” Rennie said. “Obviously some of our results didn’t go our way but this team never gave up. … The way they fought till the end of every game was something that will allow us to build on next season.”
In the end, it was a great learning experience for all those involved with the Red Wolves, including Rennie as he looks forward to next season.
One of the biggest improvements Rennie would like to see is the level of commitment from the players and coaching staff. A better understanding of the expected commitment from everyone involved will allow for better continuity and more on-field success, according to Rennie.
“We picked a good squad, a really good group. … Our overall commitment was really good and with those who were showing up and working everyday, we really improved overall,” Rennie said. “Having better commitment upfront is the improvement we want and expect now, so the future is bright for us.”
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