The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The Women’s Premier Soccer League returns to the Puget Sound area for the first time since 2009 as not one but two sides host their home openers. Welcome to the scene, Issaquah SC and Emerald City FC!
Friday, May 25, 7 PM @ Issaquah High School: Eugene Metro FC at Issaquah SC
Saturday, May 26, 2 PM @ Interbay Stadium: Eugene Metro FC at Emerald City FC
by David Falk
This is a historic weekend for women’s semi-pro soccer in the state of Washington. Issaquah SC and Emerald City FC will both host their 2012 home openers as the WPSL returns to the area for the first time since the one-year run of the Seattle Synergy back in 2009.
For Emerald City FC head coach Leigh Cullip, the kick-start of these two clubs is the debut of hope for local girls now playing their way up in the sport. “I believe strongly our girls need to have more to aspire to. We don’t develop players to play in college. We develop players because it is the right thing to do. Wouldn’t it be great that if in five, six, seven years that (our local clubs in the) WPSL were filled with players that started in the club at 13 years old, and that’s where the bulk of our players came from?”
Issaquah SC head coach Erin Redwine said in a club release, “I am very excited about building this team in the town where I was born and raised and giving women the opportunity to excel in the sport they love. My goal is to develop a highly competitive amateur women’s soccer team and strong female role models for our youth, while providing some great family entertainment over the summer.”
Thursday night May 24th Emerald City FC were treated to a kickoff cook-out at Hiawatha Park. See gallery here. The friendly neighbors at Highline Premier helped host the event.
Issaquah SC met its community in an earlier get-together at the local library. See gallery here.
The Eugene Metro Futbol Club Azul will provide the locals with their opponent for both kickoff matches. Just like the new Puget Sound sides, Azul are also in their debut campaign.
The pre-season has already been full of twists and turns. Originally Issaquah SC were slated to have two teams. Then goalWA broke the news that Leigh Cullip had been dismissed by ISC and was forming a new WPSL side under the Emerald City banner. Further, Cullip (and assistant Nikki Taylor) were taking their recruits with them.
Erin Redwine was quickly hired as the head coach at Issaquah SC, and in April she and the club began holding weekly tryouts to fill their WPSL roster.
The end result is that the WPSL is back in the area, and it returns with a built-in derby that already has an off the pitch history behind it.