Park City Red Wolves SC members with head coach Patrick Rennie
Dalton Red Wolves SC's starting XI prior to a match against Charlotte Eagles
The second part of our path to pro series features the fundamental link between academy and professional play: the USL League 2 sides of Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Dalton and Park City Red Wolves.
Just one call-up away from the professional soccer dream, the Park City and Dalton Red Wolves are the penultimate step in the USL Path to Pro journey.
As the U-23 developmental teams for the Chattanooga Red Wolves, Park City and Dalton, who both play in USL League 2, are providing exposure for their players and preparing them for a future in professional soccer.
“Path to pro sums up exactly what we’re doing,” Park City Head Coach Patrick Rennie said. “Our idea is to give these young players a chance to be seen and noticed by professional teams.”
Many of the players on these rosters compete at the collegiate level during the school year. For them, these summers spent training with the USL League 2 sides help them further their development and give them experience playing alongside other hopeful future professionals.
Dalton Red Wolves goalkeeper Aaron Fraire is one of these players. A recent graduate from nearby Dalton High School, Fraire is with the Red Wolves until the fall when he leaves for Dalton State College.
“Playing professionally is my ultimate goal,” Fraire said. “Playing with the Red Wolves is a great foundation for my career that I can use to reach higher and higher aspirations.”
Fraire said joining the Dalton Red Wolves was an easy choice. Nowhere else in the North Georgia area can you find a group of such diverse and talented players led by experienced coaches.
Players hailing from all over the world, including Haiti, England, Scotland and right here in Dalton, Georgia make up the Red Wolves side. The many different backgrounds and experiences that these players and coaches have brought to the Dalton community are what makes this team special.
“The city of Dalton is diverse and so is this team,” Fraire said. “We have people from everywhere, but we’ve all come together to achieve our goals and it’s really special.”
It’s no different in Park City. The roster includes players from El Salvador, Spain, British Columbia, England and Argentina.
The Park City and Dalton teams directly feed into Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, meaning players who are not returning to university following the League Two season have something play for: a call up to the first team.
This has already been seen first-hand with Dalton’s Yaya Cisse and Park City’s Alex Jaimes who both signed their first professional contracts with Chattanooga last month.
Several other Dalton and Park City players have also been brought in to train with the first team over the recent weeks, learning from the professional players while also showcasing their talent to the team’s technical staff.
“As a League Two team with a League One team above us we want to help promote our first team and get our players to the next level,” Dalton Red Wolves Head Coach Drew Courtney said. “We’re providing a professional environment where they can train at a high level.”
In addition to providing the best environment to help their players develop into future pros, the developmental teams expect success in the short term, as well. Despite it being the club’s inaugural season, they’re hungry for glory.
“We want to win the league this summer,” Courtney said. “It’s not typical for a first-year team to have a whole lot of success but hey, why not us?”
This is part two of a three-part series highlighting Chattanooga Red Wolves SC's goal to bring a path to professional play to the Chattanooga and North Georgia regions.
Dalton Red Wolves Defender Pierre Groutchov
Park City Red Wolves Forward Tobias Rodriguez