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    Aurora Aim To Shine In Inaugural Season

    Excerpts of the following article are courtesy this month’s edition of Women’s Soccer Coaching highlighting the Minnesota Aurora a team that is led all by females, with an “all female coaching staff” and community owned playing out of the USL W-League. With all of the events of the past week and the demand for a Women’s Pro League here, maybe there are some ideas that can be cultivated here in Canada building on the success of League 1 Canada.

    Minnesota Aurora FC
    Courtesy of the Minnesota Aurora

    The new USL W League kicked off last month, with more than 40 clubs competing across seven divisions.

    That is more than 40 clubs who have been born from scratch, establishing an identity, finding a home and recruiting players and staff.

    Among the founding members of the new pre-professional women’s league are Minnesota Aurora, who began their campaign in the Heartland Division, alongside Green Bay Glory, Chicago City SC, Kaw Valley FC, Chicago Dutch Lions, and the St. Louis Lions.

    WSC caught up with Aurora’s president and co-founder, Andrea Yoch, to find out what it takes to launch a community-owned soccer club in just a few short months…

    Who will inspire us in Minnesota sports in 2022? La Velle E. Neal III makes  his picks | Star Tribune
    Andrea Yoch: Photo Credit Courtesy of the Minnesota Star Tribune

    WSC: What were the biggest challenges you faced in establishing the club?

    AY: “We are one of the only markets in the US to have all of the professional sports teams – NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLS and MLB. “In addition, there is a very strong Big 10 University in the heart of the market
    and competitive minor leagues teams for baseball, a women’s [American] football team, [ice] hockey team, Ultimate frisbee – you name it, we have it.

    “The challenge [therefore] is finding space in a crowded market and getting attention. With the support of our community owners, we have been able to get people’s attention. “The most unexpected part was the legal side of establishing a community-owned team. It is a very complicated process. “We are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing general counsel and cofounder, Matthew Bergeron. He has worked tirelessly, pro bono, to make sure we are in compliance.”

    WSC: What does being community owned mean and how does it work?

    AY: “Being community-owned means fans have stakes in the team. A total of 3,080 people invested during our overwhelming community investment campaign. “Community owners elect members to
    serve on the board and are a part of major decision-making throughout the year.”

    WSC: You’ve got an all-female coaching staff. How important was this to your philosophy? Was it a conscious decision?

    Head Coach: NICOLE LUKIC Photo credit Courtesy of The Minnesota Aurora
    Assistant Coach: JENNIE CLARK Photo credit Courtesy of The Minnesota Aurora
    Assistant Coach JEN LARRICK Photo credit Courtesy of The Minnesota Aurora

    AY: “For every position for the team, we want to provide opportunities for women when the skills match the position. “As it happened, our coaches were our top choices in a very strong pool. Nicole [Lukic, head coach] has experience building programs from scratch, which has been critical to building our roster. She was starting with nothing.”

    WSC: What opportunities do you hope to provide for female coaches and players as the club becomes more established?

    AY: “Our first goal is to provide our athletes with a professional-like atmosphere. This means creating high-level training and game environments that push our players to grow and develop their game to achieve their long-term goals and professional medical care. “Ultimately, we want our players to leave our club at the end of the season ready to progress to and succeed at the professional level.”

    For the rest of the story, please subscribe to Women’s Soccer Coaching at:

    About Women’s Soccer Coaching Magazine

    Women’s Soccer Coaching website: and monthly digital magazine offers proven, easy to use soccer drills, coaching sessions, practice plans, small-sided
    games, warm-ups, training tips and advice. The resources are created for the grassroots youth coach following best practice from around the world and insights from the professional game, with features highlighting female soccer coaches from around the world.

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