by David Falk
EPLWA President Peter Ostrovsky traveled to Yakima for the first-ever Evergreen Premier League match in April. I have been to Marquette Stadium and watched the now-defunct Yakima Reds of the PDL play a match there. It’s still fresh in my memory so I will use that experience along with photos from Peter and Yakima United FC supporter / photographer Tracie Fowler (and others.) Hmmm. I wonder if the teapot is still standing in Zillah?
Yakima famously calls itself (via an actual sign) “The Palm Springs of Washington.” Locals laugh that off. They might be laughing, but surely they aren’t hungry. Yakima has amazing food. There are some great Mexican restaurants in the area. Or you can do what Peter did: stop off at Miner’s.
Yakima United FC are a fun club to watch. They like flair and offense. A match at Marquette Stadium is a mix of nostalgia and hometown pride. The stadium is a simple stand of cement levels. Fans must bring their own seats or cushions. The view across the way is a fruit-packing plant. Crates are stacked as high as buildings. The pitch is grass. The Yakima Reds played here for over 15 seasons.
The Hoppers joined the EPLWA in 2014 and in their first season were able to draw nice crowds and make headway with sponsors. They have several different give-aways sponsored by Zirkle. They even had free fresh fruit for fans to enjoy from local orchards.
Another great accomplishment for the Hoppers was how they connected with the local newspaper, the Yakima Herald-Republic. Imagine EPLWA President Peter Ostrovsky’s joy and amazement when the day after the first EPLWA match he found the event splashed across the front cover!
YUFC produced hands-down the best match-day program in the league in 2014. Color photos, games for fans, places for autographs. It was class. Hmmm…I wonder what’s happening in Sunnyside?
It is possible that the Hoppers might eventually move away from Marquette for a more modern venue. There are a couple of choices in Yakima that could work. In the meantime fans can enjoy the rustic charm of Yakima high-level soccer as it has been displayed for two decades.
There is plenty to do and see in the Valley, as this site shows us: www.visityakima.com. You can expect pleasant weather in May and hot weather in June and July.
Hmmm…I wonder what the latest is in Toppenish?