The Wash

The Wash: Why it’s hard for me to get excited about Seattle Impact FC

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The Wash is David Falk’s take on the world of soccer in The WA.

Read previous columns here.

by David Falk

This is an opinion column. So here’s my opinion: it’s going to be hard for me to get excited about Seattle Impact FC.

Who’s that, you ask?

That’s Puget Sound’s new entry into the new MASL – Major Arena Soccer League. They will play their home matches at the Showare Center in Kent.

My inbox has a few early press releases from them. Most have not made it onto goalWA.net.

Why?

MASL LogoI am having a hard time taking both the Impact and the MASL seriously because of my various interactions with some of the people behind them.

Indoor soccer is a niche sport at best, and failed national leagues litter the landscape. There was no great public groundswell to get a club for Kent. It just sort of happened in a head-scratching series of events coming out of the first MASL meetings. Then Impact owner Dion Earl (aka “Corporate Consumer Advocate Watchdog “) made an uncomfortable splash on the local soccer scene with a mismanaged Facebook page, threats to this website and an eventual losing lawsuit against the Tacoma Stars.

Now the Impact want all to be forgiven, and some sources tell me that Earl is indeed sorry for his rocky start. I have not heard from Earl since his threats except for an email suggesting I double-check sources.

I’m afraid it is going to be “wait and see” from my corner.

Last week the attendance-leading Rochester Lancers folded out of the MASL. In July this owner bought a team and named them Oxford City FC of Texas. The MASL is headed by Kevin Milliken. Locals know all about his style.

Local players are being asked to try out for the Impact. If that’s their dream, they should. But they should also beware. Google a few owner names. Don’t delay cashing checks. We hope the best for them.

As for Earl, our sources say he has told more than one fan that he expects to sell out every home match at 6,500 and draw better than the Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Club. There is no one I know that sees that as even remotely likely. Imagine the amount of television time, advertising investment, and star player power it would take. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

So, a league that is already unstable, and includes more than one owner who has been in and out of the courts. A sport that has no pent-up spectator demand in the Puget Sound area. A club in Kent, with the same name as an MLS team in Montreal, and with a Seahawks-colored cookie-cutter crest. Operators with pie-in-the-sky attendance expectations. And the nearest MASL club? Sacramento at 609 miles away. What could possibly go wrong?

We’ve been told that the Impact might have enough money to be around more than a year. That’s good to hear.

But nothing to get excited about.

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15 thoughts on “The Wash: Why it’s hard for me to get excited about Seattle Impact FC

  1. More soccer is good. More professional teams in the Seattle area is good.

    I don’t care what kind of petty sniping goes on between whomever. If the Impact can stick around a few years and put a good product on the field, give some players some opportunities, inspire some kids, it’s a win for the community. If not, no harm done – except to the owners wallets…

  2. Indoor soccer is garbage best left in the 1980s where it belongs. It’s a manufactured “soccer mum” sport which is of interest to virtually nobody. It requires serious delusion to think otherwise, particularly today when there is more real, affordable, meaningful soccer available for North Americans to attend live then there has ever been.

  3. My goal has always been the same. I need a state full of loyal fans. My goal has always been the same. I want to put the most exciting product on the field I can. My coaches and I all have the same goal. We want to win the MASL championship our first year. I guarantee you this as I went and trained with some top local talent last night at Lane Smiths Tacoma Soccer Center, The Seattle Impact will have some very talented local talent on the field. I know how special the talent is here in the State of Washington. Not only will we be the best dressed team in the League thanks to a major sponsor I’m about to announce but we will be a very organized and professionally run club with a great staff. Yes I have had a few blips along the way. What start up business doesn’t have bumps. However with that said we are light years ahead of schedule, which I might add that quite a few haters never thought we would be this far)) lol People are excited for us. The mayor of Kent Suzette Cook is excited for us. The Parks and recreation Director of Kent is excited for us. Many people are excited for us. I can only hope that soccer will turn a corner in a positive direction and try to not be so negative at times. Why can’t you be excited for us Dave? I respect that everybody is entitled to their own opinions. With that said can we try and keep it positive from here on out and realize that the Seattle Impact is giving young talented local soccer players a platform to showcase themselves on a National Stage in front of hopefully a sell out crowd of 5800 people in an extremely nice Arena the Kent Showare Arena. It sure would be nice if all the people that don’t support us would give us a chance. I welcome anybody that has questions to email us at GM@seattleimpactfc.com. I welcome all to check out our website at http://www.seattleimpactfc.com.
    I’m sorry for the little bumps I had fans. However, we are long past that drama. Marian Bowers is not involved with this organization and is not a part owner, Nor will she ever be. So there, I hope I have finally once and for all crushed those rumors.

    Lastly, anybody that wants a shot at making this team will have to participate in the last Open tryouts on September 6 th and 7th from 11-2 pm at the actual Arena that the team will play at the Kent Showare Arena. From there we will invite 35-40 players to a week long training camp for 6 days. From there we will obtain a roster of 22-25 people. I just had lunch yesterday with Lane Smith and Darren Sawatzky the minor league Tacoma Stars indoor team in the WISL. We have all come to an agreement that in the best interest of the players we will work out a system of shuttling players back and forth on a needed basis. Let’s face it as I told both them…If your a player would you rather play at Showare Arena in Kent, Wa a Major League Stadium or a 30 year old warehouse with no atmosphere? I mean no disrespect to the Tacoma Soccer Center with that said. I simply speak from a players thought process. With that said I hope to partner with Lane Smith and practice at the Tacoma Soccer Center for the Season. We are now on the same page and I believe have a good understanding of each other and share the same common goals.

    So finally people of the Northwest, I ask for any and all help please. We are stable company and I have a great staff. Anybody that would like to advertise or donate money to the organization can get a hold of Amy David or myself and email us at GM@seattleimpactfc.com

    I hope to hear nothing but great positive statements from here on out about the Seattle Impact FC

    All the best Fans
    Dion Earl #11
    Owner and Founder of the http://www.seattleimpactfc.com

    • “I hope to hear nothing but great positive statements from here on out about the Seattle Impact FC.”

      I’m up for giving you a chance, but actions speak far louder than words. You have to earn positive statements – not hope for them. It’s nice to see that your tone has changed but it takes a lot more than a quality party line to overcome a bad first impression.

      Milliken is still a putz.

  4. Pretty good reply, Dion. However, you should know that the TSC rocks for Stars matches. Atmosphere? It has tons of it.

  5. Totally agree about TSC from a fan’s perspective. It is like Thunderdome in there with all those fans on top of the action. While I like the ShoWare Center for convenience and as a mid sized arena, it is quite sterile even when the T-Birds have big crowds and is really cold for poorly attended college and high school basketball games.

  6. Good luck, Mr. Earl and wishing you all the best.

    For journalistic integrity, I am positive that goalWA will continue to report stories without bias and in a matter-of-fact manner. It is important also for readers to differentiate between a news story vs. an editorial commentary (an opinionated columns such as this which is clearly stated at the top of posting) in which a media outlet has the rights to freely express its opinions. Freedom of the press may seem like a foreign idea in many countries around the world even today, but I am sure glad it still exists here in the US of A.

  7. BTW IMHO realistically, the caliber of Seattle Impact FC players has to be equal to or greater than Seattle Reign FC in order to consistently draw 5,000+ fans per game. It wasn’t easy for Reign FC (women’s highest level in N. America) to draw more than 4K in the beginning of this season (as well as inaugural 2013) and only reached 5-6K a handful of times after wins were piling up. If the quality isn’t there, then a number closer to PDL, EPLWA matches seems more realistic (300-500 attendance.) Given the nature of the beast, indoor soccer is very grass root and I would guess that there will most likely be more interest locally among the semi-pro level (soon-to-be WISL/former PASL-NW) as teams play against each other in the region vs. a nationally positioned one such as the new Impact FC, though I hope I’m wrong and that there will be an explosion of interest in professional indoor soccer in South King with world class quality that will draw 5K each game this winter. Frankly, the latter is extremely optimistic.

  8. Is this Dion character a joke? He thinks he is going to pull 5800 people to an indoor soccer game? You are a joke. And you claim you have haters? What are you, a failed raper? You know what you sound like? A joke! Nice ripoff report, too. My god! Are you that dense?

    Were you not the guy threatening this same columnist with legal action if he didn’t take down a post about your inability to understand how the press works?

    https://goalwa.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/dion-earl-sends-threatening-emails-to-goalwa-over-stars-name-issues/

    The best part about this is the following:

    “Earl’s response:

    Not trying to burn bridges David. I will ask my attorney about you publishing inflammatory articles about the Tacoma Stars. I can only hope you will promote good press about the team. Enjoy your weekend.
    Respectfully
    Dion Earl”

    What an idiot. Are you even awake when you type this type of crap?

    Quick lesson on first amendment: LEARN IT!

    As far as your team goes, its a joke. You will fold before the season ends. You have sold no more than 100 season tickets. Your commissioner thinks you are a dense and tells you that you are jeopardizing him and his job. And the best part… You think you are going to be player coach?!

    Please!

    I wonder if you even have the liquid money to pay the bills.

    Far the sake of the ShoWare Center I hope they already took their money. Because that arena can’t afford to lose another team. They already lose enough money with the girls football team.

    Then come to think about it; whatever happened to your news coverage. Don Ruiz gave you one courtesy coverage and nothing after that?

    Wait, do you even have an operational office?

    The only bad thing to come out of this is the following: You ruined any chance that indoor soccer, a dying sport, had in this city. Everything was set up just right until you came around.

    Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

    You won media coverage or as you say it: “a few haters” though I am not sure its going to be all positive from here on out. You will lose it all. And might have to head back to Arizona. Since that is where you live, right?

  9. DAVid Falk I was so ready to be a Impact fan and in the next 3 days I learned who Dion Earl is and I was done !! The men is bad news ! I just check his twiter and he only follows 2 people ..Victoria Beckmanand Amy the forward for the USA national team ….

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