The latest guests on New England Soccer Journal’s “The Goal” podcast are members of New England’s newest USL League Two club.
Vermont Green FC sporting director and head coach Adam Pfeifer and club co-founder Matthew Wolff joined host Matt Langone via zoom for a fun and interesting conversation about the formation of Vermont Green FC, the identity the club hopes to create, and expectations for its inaugural season, which begins on May 15 at Boston City FC.
This fall, Pfeifer will be in his seventh season as the men’s head coach at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. A native of Newton, Mass., he played his college soccer at Boston College, where he was a four-year starter.
Wolff grew up in London and Minneapolis, Minn., before playing at Skidmore College. His career has been centered around sports design — in-house at NYCFC and at Nike Soccer, and 10 years of freelance work. He’s had the opportunity to design crests and kits for many clubs and countries, including the ones for Vermont Green FC.
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Here are some highlights from our discussion with Pfeifer and Wolff in the latest episode of “The Goal”:
On the early thought process of starting up Vermont Green FC:
Wolff: “At the beginning of the (COVID-19) pandemic, things kind of slowed down, and I got a group of friends together and thought, ‘why can’t we start a club in Vermont that represents and reflects Vermont and Vermonters?’ There was no USL League Two club here, and there hasn’t been in about 10 years since the Vermont Voltage left. So we’ve been working on this project for about two years, and now we’re just a couple of days away from training camp opening.”
On why Vermont is right for a USL League Two club:
Wolff: “In Vermont, soccer is the most participated sport in high school for both boys and girls. So we know Vermont’s a soccer state. I think we also saw a big opportunity in that there, aside from the Vermont Lake Monsters, the baseball team, There aren’t any other professional sports teams in the Burlington area. So we see an opportunity to throw seven parties or seven home games in the summer.”
On how the team’s roster is constructed:
Pfeifer: “Most of our players are going to be guys that are either going to play college next year or guys that have been playing at different colleges, whether they be Division 1, 2 or 3 schools. Most of these players, this is kind of a bridge between their spring seasons with their college teams to kind of bridging into their fall seasons, which obviously start in the beginning-to-mid-August.”
On the team’s crest:
Wolff: “It’s kind of a circular crest with Vermont written across the top and Green written across the bottom. It’s got a sun rising over two pine trees and a mountain from the Green Mountain State. But I suppose the little cherry on top is that the mountain has a smile on it. We want to have a bit of fun with it, which is hopefully a spirit that Adam will bring to the squad as well. It’s a short season, guys are coming from all over. We’re not here for a long time, but we’re here for a good time.”
On playing in USL League Two:
Pfeifer: “I think it’s going to be difficult. Where we’re brand new, we’ve got 35 new players that have never played together in their colleges. Some kids, maybe there’s a little bit of intersection in clubs and things like that. But it’s all going to be new. It is obviously going to be difficult playing some of these more well-established clubs.”
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