NPSL expansion is in full swing, just days before the Annual Owners Meeting in New Orleans, December 1st. Many new owners and new regions are opening up to the league, which is now boasting over 100 independent teams amongst their ranks nationwide. One of the latest to join the league is the completely built from scratch team Katy 1895 FC, who play just inside the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area that houses a little over 6.5 million people. Our editor Jason Bruzzichesi was able to speak with Jimmy Krueger, the team’s head coach, about what they hope to bring to the region, their foundations, and their future.
MFP: Tell us a little about your organization.
JK: Katy 1895 FC is a completely brand new club that came together through a collective passion for soccer from a few individuals. Owners Michael and Noel Veith have been involved in the sport for a number of years in various different capacities. Their love for the game and their desire to provide opportunities for kids have been the driving force behind the creation of Katy 1895 FC.
We will be based out of Katy, Texas. We will also be competing in the upcoming NPSL season and are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that will present itself throughout this process.
MFP: Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got involved in soccer.
JK: I grew up with the sport of soccer starting at the age of 3. Throughout my career, I was fortunate enough to play for a number of quality coaches along the way that instilled a knowledge in me that I am now happy to pass along. I played collegiate ball at Midwestern State and also was given the opportunity to play two seasons in BC, Canada for the Okanagan Challenge before I started my coaching career.
I was lucky enough to turn a childhood passion into a profession.
MFP: Who are the owners of the club?
JK: Michael and Noel Veith.
MFP: What was it about the Katy area that inspired you to start up a soccer team?
JK: Katy has been one of the fastest growing areas in Texas. I have seen firsthand the growth and it is nothing short of amazing. With this growth, a tremendous amount of young talent has moved into the area creating an enriched soccer environment that is in demand of additional opportunities. We believe the creation of our club will provide these opportunities. We also believe that through the creation of this local team we will connect the community with something it has not yet had.
MFP: Have you considered a fan ownership model like SF City FC, Himmarshee, Coras FC, or MPLS City?
JK: I can understand in the merit of discussing fan ownership models. It is easy to see benefits associated with such a path. However, the size and operational costs of our club at this point wouldn’t make sense to take such a route.
MFP: Where will you be playing?
JK: We will be participating in the upcoming NPSL league. We will be placed in the South Region’s Texas Conference. For the 1st season, our home matches will be played at St. John Paul XXIII College Preparatory school.
MFP: Do you have a head coach, and if so, what is his philosophy?
JK: Yes. I am the head coach (Jimmy Krueger). The Technical Director/Goalkeeper coach is Eddie Bloise.
I believe a player should be given opportunities in training to be a decision maker. They may make mistakes along the way, however those mistakes are part of the process in improvement. I believe competition is the core concept that must exist within any team to establish a proper training environment. I believe that each player involved in our club has a willingness to continue their development as a player, but a focus on continuing to develop them to be a good person is such as important in their path to success.
JK: Our short term goals are obvious. We want to come into the upcoming season ready to compete. We realize we have a tough road ahead of us as we are starting completely new. However, we are going to do everything we can to be ready for our first season opener.
We have plans to eventually grow the club to have youth academies. Our focus will be on developing young kids versus winning games. We will keep field sizes smaller to encourage players to develop an advanced comfort level on the ball. We have plans of introducing them to the game of Futsal. We will work with our young players to learn the significance of manipulating the ball at an early age. Too often in today’s game you hear coaches yell at players to kick the ball away as soon as they get it. Especially when it comes to lower performers. This mentality needs to change if we are to catch up with the world in our technical ability. Kids and parents need to be educated towards the importance of working with the ball at home. Put balls in your house. Let your kids control and manipulate the ball inside. Encourage them to use both feet. Don’t encourage them to just kick it.
MFP: There are a few options for leagues, from national to regional, what made you choose NPSL?
JK: NPSL is the right fit for us today. We are exciting to give young players the opportunity for growth and development. Our goal is to be a team that players want to be a part of to address their summer training. The fact that the NPSL has such a great reputation and quality leadership is a major bonus.
MFP: Where can we find you on social media?