GLASGOW — Ken Mahung and his family moved to Glasgow from Chicago about six years ago and noticed a stark difference in the cities.
It wasn't that Chicago is a large metro area while Glasgow is located in the rural Kentucky countryside. It was the fact that soccer was played pretty much year-round in Chicago while it was treated as a seasonal sport in Glasgow.
"How can you improve your skills playing two or three months of soccer a year?" he said. "If these kids really want to get better, let's give them something they can work at."
Mahung — who would later become Glasgow High School's boys' soccer coach, leading them to their most successful run in program history — along with his wife and some other parents decided to form a club program to give kids a chance to develop their skills throughout the year.
A parent of a Barren County High School soccer player helped with the initial push to launch the program, and the Glasgow Connectors Soccer club was created.
Like other youth sports, club soccer is broken down by age group. During the spring, Glasgow Connectors featured a U-12 and U-14 team along with two high school teams. They play matches in Bowling Green against clubs from some of the best teams in the 4th Region such as Warren Central, South Warren and Greenwood.
"It's not all the kids that would normally play(at the high school level), but you get a good idea of what you'll be competing against in the season, and it's really tough competition," Mahung said.
Giving players the opportunity to play throughout the year has helped build the culture of winning soccer at Glasgow High School. Mahung's Scotties won another District 15 title last season, as they never lost a district match. Two years ago, Glasgow was the region runner-up.
"Everywhere you go outside of America soccer is a big sport and it's played year-round," Mahung said. "It's only here in America that there's a soccer season."
Glasgow Connectors is a coed program, though Mahung said at some levels the teams are only boys because they don't have enough girls in the group.
During the summer, with many kids on vacation, the Connectors play more tournaments than club matches, traveling to places like Elizabethtown. The club slows down in the fall when high school soccer season begins.
Though the numbers change season-to-season, Mahung said there's about 50 kids involved with the Connectors.
"We have kids from all over. We open it to everybody," he said. "We just want them to play."