The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
by David Falk
The South Sound Shock are undefeated so far this season in the PASL NW. The club has momentum in part due to a dynamic duo featuring experience and burgeoning talent.
Last Saturday in Tumwater both Lukas Rydberg and Derek Johnson scored six goals each. Either total would have been enough to top the Tumwater Pioneers, who scored five as a team. The Shock didn’t stop there though, they added another eight in a 20:5 romp.
“Derek Johnson was on a hot streak this week,” says South Sound Shock founder and manager John Crouch. “Before last week’s game I told him I felt it building and that tonight (Saturday) would be his night. Well he definitely made it his night. You could see the confidence and determination in his eyes. He owned the Pioneers. Before the game I talked to him again about getting that Player of the Week and you could see he had set his goals for the night already.”
“Derek came out of the gates firing,” Crouch says of the young player’s performance on January 19th. “His level of confidence against the Pioneers contributed to dead-accurate shooting, some amazing goals and a hat trick before the end of the first quarter.”
“Lukas was the first of the two to score on the night,” Crouch recalls. “When we went a man up Lukas capitalized almost instantly on the power play. The goals started to rain after that as we went on an eleven-goal run in the first half.”
Rydberg has been a role model in recent years for Johnson, who posted just today on his Facebook page: “Lukas Rydberg taught me how to play my position when I was a little guy and last night we combined for 12 goals for South Sound Football Club. I’m thankful to him for always leading me and believing in me!”
“Lukas took advantage of set piece opportunities with very accurate, lazer-like shooting,” Crouch describes . “He scored three goals on set pieces, including a cracker in the third quarter from deep and to the right. Lukas also gave three assists to his teammates.”
Apparently there was talk on the bench about who might end up as player of the week.
“Both of these guys played with conviction and also enjoyed a friendly competition toward the end of our game, each hoping to earn PASL Player of the week awards. Derek scored all six of his goals through the run of play and added an assist to that as well. We asked him before the game if he was ready to earn the Player of the Week honors this week and of course everyone knows the answer to that, but you could see in his eyes that he was going to get there. The two of them combined for 12 of 20 goals we scored, plus we had four players earn at least a hat trick!”
Johnson also features for South Sound FC outdoors. He’s the kind of prospect / talent that makes local soccer so much worth following.
“Derek is truly a joy to have on this team as he is such a big-time competitor and his work rate is unmatched. On the flip side of it, Lukas has as much experience playing the game as you could ever want and he has tremendous leadership skills. The combination of these two guys is a great example of what our club is about and what we are setting out to do: build youth through the leadership and experience we have on the team to take things to the next level.”