The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
by David Falk
The Spokane Shine can not afford to travel to San Diego for this week’s WPSL playoffs, according to a report on Inland Northwest Soccer. The club is set to officially announce the decision soon. Meanwhile Issaquah SC, who finished one point behind the Shine in the Northwest Division are apparently ready to take their place.
This is just the latest twist and turn in a dramatic WPSL Northwest season, trying to pack as much of a Hollywood script as possible into a short ten-match season.
Going into last week Issaquah SC led the pack, only to be slowed down by two derby draws against Emerald City FC.
Meanwhile the Spokane Shine were busy winning twice, and when the curtain came down the Lilac City side has finished as table-toppers, 20-19 over ISC.
The Shine are owned by Linda Davis, a woman who expressed grand hopes for her club when they came into the league in 2011.
“We have received tremendous support from Jerry Zanelli (WPSL Commissioner) and his group. Lots of encouragement and some real forward thinking. There is rumbling under the volcano, a lot of energy building for the WPSL, and it is just going to blow this summer. It’s going to be a great summer,” she told me at the time.
While her statement (linked above) to Inland Soccer News spins this as just another step in the growing process of her club, outsiders and skeptical fans in Spokane will likely not take to the news well. Beyond the disappointment it “rewards” the Shine players with, this will only reinforce the recent string of events in Spokane semipro soccer that include the folding of the Spiders of the PDL and the Black Widows of the WPSL.
Maybe the default of a playoff trip saves Davis enough money to bring her club back for a third season. Whether it has any lasting affect on fan opinion of the franchise only time will tell.
Issaquah SC now has to scramble to get all of their travel plans in order so they can represent the Northwest as the runner-up.