Club soccer in Minnesota is a lot about winning, says Fusion SC technical director Lawrence Tsoi. “Elite soccer in Minnesota is mainly defined by how much you win,” Tsoi says. But Fusion SC and Tonka United, two local clubs, are focusing less on the “win” and more on player development: The clubs are entering a collaborative partnership to form Tonka Fusion Elite. The new team held tryouts during the summer and looked for 16 to 18 athletes who were prepared to compete and train at a high level.
The two clubs will remain independent otherwise, continuing to work with players at various levels and ages, but will work together with this elite group, focusing on older teens who have the ambition and talent to compete at the college level.
Tonka Fusion Elite isn’t just about competing and winning, though. The programming focuses on three elements: soccer training, building a team that has the drive to compete and, most importantly, creating stronger and smarter athletes and people. “We’re focusing on holistic development,” Tsoi says.
Tsoi believes that other clubs in Minnesota will follow Fusion SC and Tonka United’s lead and create more partnerships to focus on elite players.