AUSTIN (KXAN) — Brett Uttley, the first-ever coach of Austin FC II, sat down with the Verde Lights crew to talk about the beginning of the squad’s first season in MLS Next Pro.

Uttley comes to Austin after serving as an assistant coach for Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer. He’s had coaching stops at Quinnipiac University, Seattle Sounders FC and Rio Grande Valley FC.

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Uttley’s first game as a head coach was a good one March 24 with a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo II at Parmer Field in Austin. The club drew with Sporting Kansas City II 1-1 on the road before falling 4-2 on penalty kicks April 2, but got back on the right track with a 2-1 win over the Tacoma Defiance 2-1 on Friday.

Uttley said he “still gets goosebumps,” from the home opener.

“It was special,” he said. “I remember walking out and I saw a line of people around the field, and you immediately sense the passion and connection the fans have to the team. The whole stadium erupted after the second goal.”

Austin FC II’s role in the organization is to bridge the gap between Austin FC’s academy and the first team, so while first-team reserves can come down to get minutes to keep their skills sharp, it’s a vital step for younger players to develop so one day they can play for the first team.

“It’s a huge jump to go from the academy to the first team, everyone needs a pathway, and the second team serves as that,” Uttley said. “Everyone is gaining valuable experience, and they’ll keep growing and getting more opportunities to develop in their professional careers.”

The whole 7-minute interview with Uttley is in the video player above. Verde Lights airs at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays on The CW Austin.