The club, which has been operating over recent years in local leagues as “Yakima United,” will be run by the Vega family, including Hector Vega Sr. and son Joshua Vega.
“Hector Vega is a legend in adult soccer in the state of Washington,” says EPLWA Vice President of Competition Tim Busch. “He had a wonderful 15 year run as a player, coach and owner of the Yakima Reds of the USL. He always fields very competitive teams. Yakima is a great addition to the EPLWA family.”
“We want to be able to provide a competitive avenue to help further develop the talent in the Yakima Valley,” Hector Vega Sr. says. “We have a large amount of kids playing soccer outside the area because we don’t have a local college program. We also have some strong talent that has played at a high level, and some that may have never had the chance. It’ll be nice to get a good mix of all those types of players together and have a good representation from our area.”
Joshua Vega says this is big news for soccer in The Valley. “Since Yakima lost the PDL club, there really hasn’t been much of an opportunity for us to showcase the talent in The Valley, and it’s a real shame because we feel there is an abundance of it. It goes without saying that we want to be competitive, but also it’s very important to us to be able represent our area on a wider scale than just locally. Even in just our state the football cultures vary, going further than styles or tactics. We’re looking forward to experiencing those other cultures as well as sharing our own.”
Joshua says things will step up in Yakima both on and off the pitch. “I think for the supporters it’ll be nice to have a team to watch. To be able to experience a higher level of competition and support a local club is something we haven’t had in Yakima for a long time. Most people have their respective clubs that they support on a national and international level, which is great, but everyone should have the option of having a local club to support. For the players, it’s a chance to compete at a different level than what they’re probably used to. For the large majority of players you have high school and maybe community college soccer for two years. After that there isn’t much option to keep playing at a competitive level and it’s something that’s been lacking. We’re excited to have that back in the area, and hopefully it will be an opportunity for some to develop and perhaps even advance further in their playing careers.”
Yakima United enters the EPLWA with plenty to do, including picking a logo, getting sponsors, setting tryouts and all of the usual challenges associated with running a club.
Hector Vega has been down this path before, and he will be a steadying influence as Yakima kicks off. “Well obviously we want to be competitive,” Hector states. “We’re not going to set too many on field goals up front, but we do want to lay the foundation to have a successful club that can compete for trophies for many years to come. More importantly we want to establish a presence in the community and play some entertaining soccer that people who love the sport in Yakima can come enjoy and be proud of.”
About the EPLWA
The Evergreen Premier League is an elite adult men’s soccer league for college and post-college age players to feature their skills on hometown clubs throughout the state of Washington. The league’s mission is to cultivate “football club” culture while providing opportunities for coaches, owners, supporters, players and towns to enjoy the sport and all of the community-building it can bring. The EPLWA is affiliated with the Washington State Adult Soccer Association, the United States Adult Soccer Association, US Soccer and FIFA.
The EPLWA (pronounced E-P-L ‘wah’) will kick off in May 2014 with its debut season: Bellingham United FC (Bellingham), South Sound FC (Tacoma), Wenatchee United FC (Wenatchee), Seattle Stars FC (Tukwila), WestSound FC (Silverdale), Spokane Shadow (Spokane), Vancouver Victory FC (Vancouver, WA) and Yakima United (Yakima).
Visit the Evergreen Premier League online at: www.EPLWA.com
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