Park City Red Wolves open home slate Sunday
The club hasn’t played a home game since 2019
In a scheduling quirk, the Park City Red Wolves, the city’s USL League 2 soccer team, will play their home opener at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City, nearly 40 miles from their practice fields at Quinn’s Junction.
The plan is for the Red Wolves to play the rest of their home games at Wasatch High School, except for a June 18 home match, but the Regional Athletic Complex is the only venue they could secure in time for Sunday’s match against the Colorado Rush, their first home game since the 2020 season was canceled. In the team’s inaugural season in 2019, Dozier Field was home to the Red Wolves.
“We’d like to play at Dozier, it’s not going to happen this year,” Park City coach Scott Mackenzie said. “That’d be the dream, that we’d have our own (field), but yeah, that is some of the logistical challenges that exist.”
The Red Wolves are the one of two USL League 2 affiliates for the Chattanooga Red Wolves. USL League 2 is unofficially on the fourth rung of the American soccer pyramid, behind Major League Soccer, USL Championship and USL League 1 and the National Independent Soccer Association. Teams in USL League 2 are primarily made up of college soccer players looking for a place to play during their offseason in the summer.
Park City is 0-1-1 on the season after two games on the road against the Rush. Mackenzie liked how his team played but was disappointed that it didn’t bring home a win in either match. This year is Mackenzie’s first as a manager of a USL League 2 team.
“We just find it’s all about process,” he said. “With those things that we did well, we make sure that we highlight them and we manage them and we continue to execute them. And there’s things we need to do better and we’ve had another week of training, we’ve worked on a couple of those things in that week of training.”
Mackenzie is tasked with trying to improve these players as much as possible in a short season. The Red Wolves’ schedule lists seven games between Sunday and July 17. The Red Wolves will play at home on June 18, June 20, July 1 and July 3.
“When we work on something in training, their responsibility is to onboard as quickly as possible and implement,” he said. “That’s how you get on the team at the end of the day.”
Players will also be looking to impress scouts for when they’ve exhausted their college eligibility. Out of the 75 players selected in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, 49 were USL League 2 alumni. There’s also the prospect of being signed by the parent club, like Alex Jaimes and Ronaldo Pineda from Park City’s 2019 squad.
“We also say, ‘Look, all of you are here for a reason,’” Mackenzie said. “And because they are playing college, that is the pathway in America, but they have aspirations, they want to go further, they want to take this thing. And that’s a unifier, so we use these things to bring a group of fairly new kids together and find unifiers in values and in ambition.”
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