Sioux Falls Thunder Begins Final Stretch Of Inaugural Season


The Sioux Falls Thunder has brought semi-professional soccer back to South Dakota’s largest city. 

For the first time in a decade, Sioux Falls is back on the map when it comes to semi-professional soccer. 

The Thunder began its season in May and now just two games remain.

“The inaugural team has been a learning curve for a lot of us because a lot of us have not played on a semi-professional team before so it was a very interesting learning experience. It’s been a lot of fun for me personally,” goalkeeper Tyler Grilley said. 

Athletes say the progression of the team has been one of the most exciting parts of the year.

“We’ve widdled it down and now you know we’ve battled through injury and people and yellow card suspensions and things like that and I think now it’s to the point of the season where we’ve really gone through you know the rigors of it and are kind of at the end of it and really just trying to put everything together,” defender Jeff Beck said.

The team has also had to overcome a mid-season coaching change.

“It was very tough mentally to try and push through that but I feel like our team pushed through it pretty well and that we’re kind of stronger for it at this point in the season,” Grilley said. 

Acting head coach Azzaro Suehne is the first to admit it’s been a tough transition. 

“They have something way too different from what I usually work with so yeah, we was, it was tough, I mean it’s still tough though but we’re getting along and everything’s kind of getting into place,” acting head coach Azzaro Suehne said.

The team is 3-5-4 this season but has finished each of its last three games in a draw or with a win.

“I always want to be on the top but these guys understand that this is all new,” Suehne said. 

Heading into its final two games for this new organization, the team hopes to build for next year.

“I think going out with wins will be the best thing that we can possibly do,” Beck said. 

The team wraps up its home schedule on Saturday at 7:00 at the USF Sports Complex.

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