Published May 20, 2022
Written By:  Charlie Corr
​             East Region Contributor


The word “diversity” is a fitting depiction of the two expansion clubs joining the WPSL’s Metropolitan Conference this season.


Whether that means the diverse collegiate experience up and down the Brooklyn City FC roster or the diverse international framework within the New York Dutch Lions group, both newcomers face the challenge of meshing these backgrounds to go up against a highly-touted East Region conference.


“To be able to bring a group of such diverse players together, who all have heard different coaching voices and instructions, to just simplify it and get on the same page together, is super gratifying,” Kim WyantBrooklyn City FC  head coach, said.


For Dutch Lions head coach Danny Dekker, who played the game until his mid-teenage years in the Netherlands, he has created an expansive footballing network in Holland and abroad.


“We are trying to get more international players, especially more Dutch players,” Dekker said. “International players make for a great mix to learn from each other. So we’re improving our network, including our local network, because everybody is welcome.”


Wyant has utilized her decades’ worth of coaching experience to form a strong pool of budding players and young coaches in the Brooklyn City FC fold. Between her soccer relationships, including her assistant coach Amy Marron, Brooklyn has been resourceful and well-connected in constructing the club’s foundation.


“It’s fun to start a new team,” Wyant said. “It’s hard work, and it was extra hard work during Covid. You’re building a brand new team, and a brand new club that’s never had a women’s team before.”


Dekker lives in Holland (six hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone), so during this preseason he continuously worked into the wee hours to establish the dynamics of the New York Dutch Lions – one of six Dutch Lions teams competing this season in the WPSL.


“I’ve been working quite hard every evening to find players and have everything in order… arranging the venue… arranging practice… finding staff – it’s pretty exciting,” Dekker said. “I’m really looking forward to how it will work out because we’re trying to build the soccer and grow. This first year is going to be hard, but I think it’s going to be an amazing year.”


The spotlight for any new team is the anticipation of seeing how it will contend. Brooklyn City FC’s and the New York Dutch Lions’ coaches are heavily focused on that player engagement.


“The one basic principle that we talk about is competing,” Wyant said. “Competing is within your control, when we show up to the games and when we show up to practices. You have to have that basic attitude when you come in, and that’s where the fun is – giving it your all in a match. It’s really that simple.”


Dekker was in New York in November during the expansion announcement and had the opportunity to meet with SUSA ownership and familiarize himself with other successful Metro sides like Downtown United. He hopes the top-tier competition will play a crucial role in the Dutch Lions’ growth.


“You can always learn from the best,” Dekker said. “I hope we can step-by-step get our players to play the Dutch way of football and establish that system.”



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