Published May 9, 2022
Written By:   Andrew Conniff
              Central Region Contributor


The Northern Conference welcomed the addition of three new teams ahead of this season: Joy AC (Minn.), Manitou F.C. (Minn.), and Sioux Falls City FC (S.D.). Sioux Falls City FC is the first WPSL team to represent South Dakota, one of the least populated states in the U.S.A.

Although Sioux Falls City FC is in a smaller market, it has not wasted time in showing the ambition to compete with the best. This ambition has led to a holistic approach to building a club that is focused on community impact as much as it is with on-field performances. SFCFC Technical Director, Joe DeMay, wants this to be an organization driven by culture and directed by values.

Fundamentally, season one is about laying a strong, solid foundation for many seasons to come,” DeMay said.

SFCFC is in the process of building a roster and as much as the club wants to find quality on the field, it’s not losing sight of the vision of bringing in quality people as well.

An important step in the process [of identifying players] is to make an individual connection with a player to determine their goals and ambitions and how those fit within the goals and ambitions of SFCFC,” Dale Weiler, Sioux Falls City FC head coach, said.

Weiler commented that SFCFC is looking to build a roster of “empowered young women” that will include local, regional, and international talents. Weiler has excellent knowledge of soccer in the region. The Wisconsin native is South Dakota Youth Soccer Association’s technical & executive director and is also the director of the Dakota Olympic Development Program (ODP).

SFCFC has already publicized roster additions that include many NCAA Division I players, including three from the University of South Dakota. The Coyotes are coming off its best season in recent history, going 8-1 at home where it defeated its first-ever Power 5 program in Iowa State. Some of the Coyotes who will be playing for SFCFC this summer include Maliah Atkins, who was recently called to play for the U-20 Jamaican National Team; and two Sioux Falls locals in Hattie Giblin and Kiah Pieters.

SFCFC has another local talent returning to the area from the University of Dayton, in Taylor Thomas. This past fall Thomas and the Flyers had a 12-win season and made it to the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Other Division I programs represented include South Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North Dakota, and University of St. Thomas (Minn.). There is a wide range of talent coming into SFCFC, yet it has still created a pathway for local players to compete on an elevated stage.

In all the excitement of a new franchise, partnerships, and player announcements there is certainly building expectations and pressure to perform. Possibly, a pressure to show that quality play can come from a small and emerging market. However, the leadership at SFCFC is goal-driven and doesn’t seem likely to veer off its course.

We want to represent this club the best we possibly can and then do the same for the city,” said DeMay, when asked about competing against Minneapolis-area clubs. “Those are the people who are most important to us so they’re the ones we want to be proud [of SFCFC].”