2023-2024 Boys Team Expectations2023-07-23T10:25:14-05:00
Mark Yueill
Mark YueillBoys Director

MTA Boys Director
ECNL Coach

  • USSF B License
  • USSF Director of Coaching License
  • Coaching at MTA since 2009
  • 9 years USSDA coach
  • 36+ Years Club Coach
  • 15 Years High School Coach (6 The Breck School, 4 SPA, 5 Jefferson)
  • ECNL National Runners-up 2012 (Champions Flight)
  • 8 Time Minnesota State Cup Champions
  • 2016 Regional Semi-Finalist
  • Has coached:
    • Over 200+ Division 1 Collegiate Players
    • 2 HS All-Americans
    • 8 US Youth National Team Players
    • 4 Professional Players
  • Playing history:
    • 4 Years for University of MN Gophers (Club),
    • 2 Years St Paul Blackhawks
    • 14 Years St Paul Cougars
    • 1 Year MN Men’s Select Team
    • 1 Year MN Strikers Reserve
    • MVP Thunder Bay Invitational Tournament
Matt VanBenschoten
Matt VanBenschotenBoys Juniors Director

MTA Juniors Director
Juniors Coach
ECNL Coach
ThunderBolts Director

  • Coaching at MTA since 2022
  • Coaching full time since 2010
  • Former Head Coach, Minneapolis City (USL2)
  • 3x NPSL North Conference Championships
  • 2021 Conference Coach of the Year
  • NSCAA Director of Coaching Certificate
  • NSCAA GK Level 1,2,3 Certificate
  • JV Coach / Asst Varsity Coach, Wayzata HS
  • former Mens Asst Coach, Bethel University
  • former U10-U13 Boy Director, Fusion SC
  • Playing history: 2 yr captain, all-academic conference at Bethel University
  • Masters degree, Marriage & Family Therapy
Terry Leiendecker
Terry LeiendeckerGK Director

MTA Goalkeeper Coach - Boys & Girls

  • Former professional Goalkeeper for MN Strikers.
  • Former GK Coach for MN Thunder professional team.
  • Played for Team USA at the World University Games in Japan
  • 4 year starter & captain at St John's University
  • McDonald's NSCAA All-American
  • Holds NSCAA & MIAC goalkeeping records
  • 15 yr Boys HS Varsity Coach
  • USSF B License
  • NSCAA GK (Levels I, II & III)
Sophie Horn
Sophie HornAsst Juniors Director

MTA Assistant Juniors Director
Juniors Coach
NPL Coach
ThunderBolts trainer
ThunderFoot trainer

  • Coaching at MTA since 2021
  • Former MTA Player
  • USSF D License
  • University of MN-Duluth DII player
  • Coerver Coach
  • Former WPSL player
  • BA Political Science & Philosophy
  • Rosemount HS coach
  • former Cretin-Derham Hall B Squad Coach
Max Lom
Max LomAsst Juniors Director

MTA Assistant Juniors Director
Juniors Coach
ECNL Assistant Coach
ThunderBolts trainer
ThunderFoot trainer

  • Coaching at MTA since 2020
  • Coaching youth soccer since 2015
  • USSF C License
  • 2022 MTA Boys Coach of the Year
  • Asst Coach, Mpls City Futures
  • DeLaSalle HS Coach
23-24 Tryout Sched.
Our Coaching Staff
Boys ECNL info
Boys MN NPL info
Boys Juniors info


Register now for 2023-2024 Tryouts

2023-2024 Boys Teams

Teams, Coaches, Fees, Play Level & more…

  • Minnesota Thunder Academy

    • Proud to be one of the 40 founding members of the ECNL in 2009.
    • Only Boys & Girls ECNL Club in Minnesota
    • MTA has developed 33 Professional players and 31 National team players!
    • Mr and/or Ms Soccer Minnesota has been an MTA player every one of the past 22 years
    • 1000+ MTA college players in over 110 college programs
    • 25-32 girls go on to play college soccer each year – majority at D1
    • Highly licensed coaches
    • GK training by a former professional player
    • Centrally located, top level, year-round facilities
    • 10-11 months of programming U13-U14, 8-9 months of programming U15-U19
    • Elite level training & recovery tools:
      • TCO athletic trainer at all ECNL games
      • Normatec recovery pants
      • Injury prevention program
      • Games recorded on VEO with online access to create highlight videos

Our Leagues

Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) .  The Boys ECNL provides a top level, club-based development, training, and competition platform for youth male soccer players, with conference competition in six age groups (U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, and U18/19) and collegiate exposure through Boys ECNL National Events. In addition to the competition platform, the Boys ECNL offers player identification and development opportunities for top players, as well as unique coaching education and club development programs. Top teams from every Boys ECNL conference qualify for the post-season ENPL Playoffs, along with top teams from US Club Soccer’s NPL.

Learn more about ECNL here

MTA was accepted into TCSL’s Minnesota NPL for the inaugural 2020-21 season.  The league runs Fall-Winter-Summer for U13/U14 and Winter-Summer for U15-U19.  It provides post-season play-off competition for top teams across the country, with the possibility of advancing to NPL Nationals in Colorado.

Twin Cities Soccer Leagues (TCSL) aims to provide the highest quality soccer league experience in Minnesota.

Levels: Three levels of play at U9 & U10 (Red, White, Blue) and four levels of play at U11-U14 (National, Regional, State, Cities).

Info & Fees

MTA continues to raise the bar in Minnesota in terms of player development, team performance, college recruitment and national exposure. 14 years ago we embarked on a new journey to ensure stronger competition and a more direct path to collegiate soccer for our players, and MTA was one of the founding members of the Girls ECNL. That success story has proven itself every year since.  We joined the Boys ECNL for the 2019-2020 season, which was canceled by Covid-19, but made us the only club in the state to offer such a national platform for players to excel.

In 2020-21, we joined TCSL in re-defining the local landscape in Minnesota by joining the new Minnesota National Premier League.  This was the obvious next step for us to align with our goal of continuing to be the leader in high level soccer not only in Minnesota, but nationally.

MTA is ‘All In’ with US Club Soccer

  • Girls and Boys ECNL – will continue to compete in the ECNL Midwest Conference regionally, and in ECNL Showcase events and Playoffs nationally. This will allow for earlier tryouts, more focus on ECNL level competition, and allow time to compete at Puma Cup U17 Elite at Gothia Cup in Sweden (Girls), additional College Showcases, and other high level events.

  • Boys & Girls Minnesota NPL – will compete in the TCSL Minnesota NPL. The NPL is a national competition platform created to elevate and change the soccer landscape through development, meaningful competition and identification platforms culminating in the NPL finals. This league will have 14-20 games November through June, and emphasizes calendar decongestion, appropriate training-to-match ratios, and club-driven scheduling. TCSL will provide a college recruiting platform, ID camp and Showcase events for 15U+ age groups.  MTA also hosts a Girls College Showcase and a Boys College Showcase for our NPL players.

  • Juniors Boys & Girls – will compete in TCSL’s National or Regional leagues.

MTA – Raising the Bar

As part of our comprehensive player development approach, MTA continues to offer services and benefits that cannot be found anywhere else in Minnesota.

    • College Exposure and Recruiting to DI, DII and DIII Programs – MTA has trained more collegiate and professional athletes than all other soccer clubs in MN combined! Other clubs may say this, but MTA can prove it –  check out the details on our website

    • Proven MTA Development Path  – MTA has developed a path to success. From our ThunderBolts programming to NPL and ECNL, from expert, high level coaches to Elite Club Benefits we provide a holistic approach to development, identification & competition that completes the player.

    • Top Players Play Here – The athletes awarded Mr and/or Ms Minnesota have been MTA players for the last 22 years. Athletes come to MTA from all over the state to play on teams where all players are dedicated to soccer, and are working together to get to the next level.

    • Elite Club Benefits

      • State of the art turf and dome facilities – designed and developed to ensure proper ball performance, optimal safety and energy return for players
      • Innovative technologies to enhance player performance (Fitfor90, Veo Camera system, Normatec athlete recovery pants)
      • Strategic Partnerships – to enhance the player experiences and performance, and continue to educate our coaches (Twin Cities Orthopedics and Training HAUS powered by TCO provides athletic trainers and Performance training)
      • Byga Comprehensive Club Management System – from player evaluations to registrations, MTA is committed to the highest level of communication and excellence.
      • Snap!Spend team financial system - ease and transparency for collecting team fees.

(Billed by MTA in Registration)

  • Applicable league fees
  • Referee Fees (home games)
  • Outdoor Training/ Game Fields & Equipment
  • Indoor Training/ Game Fields (domes)/ Facility Rental/ Equipment
  • Goalkeeper Training
  • Coach Fees/ Coach Education
  • Club Operations/ Administration/ Insurance
  • Uniforms
  • Winter League Fee
  • Winter Futsal
  • Tournament fees
  • ECNL Showcase event fees
  • National Championships/ Playoffs
  • Personal travel expenses

(Team fees are collected by Team Managers via Snap!Spend system)

  • Tournament & ECNL Event registration fees
  • Coach Travel Expenses
  • Team events
  • Scrimmages
  • Winter league
  • Winter futsal
  • Add’l Team Fees/Activities
  • Some Team Fees may be collected by the MTA Office

Subscribe to our MTA Nation Newsletter for the most up-to-date info.

Tryout FAQs

How many teams will be formed at each age?2022-06-21T18:05:20-05:00

We expect to form two teams at each age group, U13 and up.  

  • Girls: 1 ECNL team & 1 NPL team.
  • Boys: 1 ECNL team & 1 NPL team. 

An ECNL team will be formed for both Boys & Girls at birthyears 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005/2004.

Girls’ Pre-ECNL teams will be formed at 2012 and 2011 birthyears.

Boys’ Pre-ECNL team will be formed at the 2011 birthyear.

For Juniors teams (U9-U12) , we expect to form 2-3 teams at each age group.

Please explain the different U13+ tryouts?2022-06-21T17:05:21-05:00

Girls: The majority of our ECNL rosters will be formed after ECNL ID tryouts on July 12 & 13.

The July 30 & 31 tryouts are for players that were unable to attend the earlier ECNL ID tryouts or are interested in playing Girls Minnesota NPL. All NPL teams  will be formed at these tryouts and any remaining ECNL roster spots will be filled. If you attend ECNL Tryouts and are not offered a roster spot, please return for the NPL Tryouts at the end of the month to see if you might still make an ECNL team or an NPL or Elite team. Your registration fee covers you for either or both tryouts. You do not need to register twice.

Boys: The majority of our U15-U19 ECNL rosters will be formed after ECNL ID tryouts on July 11 & 14.
U13 and U14 ECNL rosters will be formed after tryouts on July 30-31.

The July 30 & 31 tryouts are for players that were unable to attend the earlier ECNL ID tryouts or are interested in playing U13-U14 Boys ECNL, U13-U19 Boys Minnesota NPL or U12 Pre-ECNL. All NPL teams teams will be formed at these tryouts and any remaining ECNL roster spots will be filled. If you attend ECNL Tryouts and are not offered a roster spot, please return for the NPL Tryouts at the end of the month to see if you might still make an ECNL team or an NPL team. Your registration fee covers you for either or both tryouts. You do not need to register twice.

When will players be notified of a team offer?2022-06-06T17:03:58-05:00

ECNL: Players will be emailed a roster offer within 24 hours after the second ECNL tryout.
NPL/TCSL and U13-U14 Boys ECNL: Players will be notified as soon as possible after the end of Tryouts, the week of August 1st.

What other clubs are in Minnesota NPL?2022-06-06T17:25:37-05:00

In addition to Minnesota Thunder Academy, teams accepted for the 2021-22 season were: Edina, Eden Prairie, Fusion, Lakeville, North Suburban, Prior Lake, Salvo, St Croix, Blackhawks, Tonka United, and Twin Cities Rush.

For further info, visit the TCSL website >>

How often do ECNL teams travel?2022-06-21T17:06:34-05:00

ECNL schedules for the upcoming season are not yet set, but we should be able to provide a good idea of the travel requirements at tryouts. Depending on the age group, teams will have 1-3 National Events and 4-6 Away fixture weekends. Some teams also have additional travel with College showcases, additional tournament and possible National Playoffs and Championships.

Refer to the team expectations that will be posted on the website, as well as the Season Plan handouts at tryouts.

Is travel chaperoned or are families responsible?2022-06-21T17:07:11-05:00

In general, families are always welcome to travel with the team. In past seasons, teams traveled with chaperones, and players stayed in rooms with other players. During the past few seasons with the pandemic, it was necessary to have players staying with parents instead of in all-player rooms for the safety of everyone.

For the 2022-2023 season, teams and/or individual families can choose how to travel. If players will be staying in all-player rooms, those families will be required to appoint a chaperone and help share the cost of the chaperone housing and their meals with the team.

We do not yet know if Covid-19 will continue to affect the upcoming season. The answer to this question may be adjusted over time

How long do training sessions run in the winter?2021-03-17T14:25:26-05:00

All teams are provided 3 training sessions in the dome with 60-90 min on field, with the exception of any adjustments needing to be made for state health regulations.  There is often extra fitness time added, and many teams have additional events outside of their scheduled training sessions.

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