I was helping unload an ice chest before a Tacoma Tide FC match in 2011 when a familiar, historic club crest caught my eye. Suddenly, with a mere glimpse of the haloed stick-man, I had a rush of soccer nostalgia.
Facebook and the Wayback Machine did the rest…
by David Falk
A few weeks later I remembered the moment and posted a note on the goalWA Facebook page looking for people who were a part of the Saints. Right away I got some names that I will be following up on in future articles.
The Hibernian and Caledonian Saints were an authentic football club in a time when soccer in Seattle was marked by the pre-MLS years of the United Soccer Leagues Seattle Sounders. They were talented male and female amateurs who by their play represented an era of soccer in our region.
If you were a Saint or a follower, please contact me at goalWA@gmail.com. I’d like to see what you remember about those years.
The Saints’ history is well worth preserving. Just look at the opening paragraphs when the club won the 2005 National USASA crown:
August 7, 2005 – USSF-USASA NATIONAL CUP FINAL: Seattle Hibernian &
Caledonian (1) 2 – 1 (0) Baltimore Allied
32nd minute [H&C] Ian Chursky;
63rd minute [H&C] Cam Weaver (Pat Dorn); 81st minute [BA] Roland Jesper
The long twelve year quest for national honors has now been completed. The
demons from so many countless campaigns of the past are now off and away to
trouble others. Saints are in dreamland and yet are smack-dab in reality. The
club’s Men’s Open Team (MOT’s) are finally USSF-USASA National Cup Champions,
2005 style! The MOT’s reached their Holy Grail with an emphatic 2 – 1 finals
victory over Region I finalist, Baltimore Allied.
The young MOT’s have now become fastened with the many greats of National Cup
glory, all the great teams and players, professionals and otherwise, who have
played in this venerable competition. But, more so, they have helped the club
achieve some major fame, in a class of their own. Hibs and Caley has now won
more levels of USSF-USASA National Championships than any other team or club in
the history of all competitions. Period.
This was the club’s sixth national adult outdoor championship in a little
over three years and its eighth overall, including two indoor titles since 1995,
that most certainly puts them in a class of their own.
The club’s national championship honor role…
1995 NAISC (Men’s Open); 1996 NAISC (Men’s Open); 2002 USSF-USASA National Cup (Men’s Over 30); 2003 USSF-USASA National Cup (Women’s Open); 2003 USSF-USASA Veterans Cup (Men’s Over 40); 2004 USSF-USASA National Cup (Men’s Over 30); 2005 USSF-USASA Veterans Cup (Men’s Over 40); 2005 USSF-USASA National Cup (Men’s Open)
As for the actual happenings from this championship match, it was very simple…everyone, from the gaffer, trainer and playing staff, gave everything they had and supported each one another through out the entire weekend, from the amazing comeback and last minute win in the semi-final, when Saints defeated then current national champions, Assyrian Winged Bull, from Chicago, Illinois, to the last whistle in the final, when fists were pumped high into the sky and a few tears were shed amongst the more sentimental, be it some of the “old school!”
The disappointment of a lack-lustre PCSL season, the low numbers going across the boarder to Canada, is still a task for improving on for the coming season. Saints have now gone four years without a League title and that will be their goal next year. But, the last twelve have always been the National Cup, front and center, the MOT’s number one ambition. Now that demand and journey have been accomplished, thanks to wily Saints gaffer, Jimmy McAlister, and all his incomparable players!
As the legendary NFL coach and sports commentator, John Madden, always liked to say, “when you win a national championship you are not just champions for a day, a week, a month or a even a year…you are a national champion for life.” Enjoy it boys!