The Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) is halfway through its debut season. Each of the five founding clubs of the new league have played four of their eight league matches. After the new year the second half of the campaign will see the final slate play out before the playoffs. The top four clubs will participate in the post-season. Below is a club-by-club recap of the first half of the season, in order of current standings.
WESTERN INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE STANDINGS (Through 12/20/14)
|Club||Points||Wins||Losses||Ties||GF||GA||Goal + / –|
|OLY TOWN ARTESIANS||6||2||2||0||27||29||-2|
GF= goals for. GA= goals against. 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie. Top four clubs make the playoffs.
TACOMA STARS (4-0-0)
The Tacoma Stars are undefeated as the holiday break arrives. They have a goal differential of +18. Tacoma has the deepest roster in the WISL. The Stars are able to call on a group over nearly 30 players for their match-day 18’s. Some of those are former pros. The Stars have also represented the WISL in two cross-league friendlies, beating the professional Seattle Impact (MASL) 7-4 and the Olympic Force (PASL) 7-3. Tacoma is led by the 11 goals of Derek Johnson and the 3.42 goals against average (GAA) of veteran goalkeeper Aaron Anderson. The Stars need just a single point (a draw) to clinch a playoff spot. The second half WISL schedule for Tacoma is: Jan. 10 Oly Town, Jan. 17 at Arlington, Jan. 24 Wenatchee, Jan. 31 at Bellingham.
BELLINGHAM UNITED (2-1-1)
The Hammers are unbeaten in their last three matches after opening up with a close 4-3 loss in Tacoma. Since then they have two wins and a draw. Keegan Rogers is third in the WISL in goalkeeping with a 4.75 GAA. Andrew Weishaar is tied for second in goals scored with 5. The Hammers have represented the WISL in one cross-league match, an 8-5 win over the Snohomish Skyhawks (PASL). This is the first year for the BUFC badge indoors as the Hammers are picking up the mantle of the former WSA Rapids. The second half of the WISL schedule for Bellingham is: Jan. 3 at Oly Town, Jan. 10 Wenatchee, Jan. 24 at Arlington, Jan. 31 Tacoma.
OLY TOWN ARTESIANS (2-2-0)
Oly Town is brand new to indoor soccer but they have shown in a few short weeks that they belong. The Artesians battled the Tacoma Stars in their home opener, then won two straight matches in thrilling fashion, including a 7-6 triumph at Arlington with a goal coming 7 seconds before the final whistle. It’s not all good news though, that goal had a high price attached to it. Matt Stalnik was fouled as he scored and will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Oly Town will look to Nate Salveson and Willie Spurr to get them into the playoffs. Mauricio Sanchez is solid in goal and there was good back-up for him when Clint Lothrop came in recently at Bellingham. The second half of the WISL season for Oly Town is: Jan. 3 Bellingham, Jan. 10 at Tacoma, Jan. 17 at Wenatchee, Jan. 31 Arlington.
WENATCHEE FIRE (1-2-1)
The Fire are on a slow burn after they won their first match out of the gates. Since then the team is winless but has a 6-6 draw at home against Bellingham to their credit. It’s always a show when the Fire come to town. Fire matches have combined for 54 total goals, tops in the WISL. Wenatchee will work on defense as 30 of those goals are from their opponents. Danny Romero was hot in goal the first two weeks but recent goalkeepers for the Fire have not fared as well. Wenatchee’s leading scorer honors are shared by three players with 3 each. Most-recently the Fire represented the WISL with an 8-7 friendly win over Alianza Tri-Cities out of Pasco. The Fire end their season a week before the rest of the pack. The second half of the WISL season for Wenatchee is: Jan. 3 Arlington, Jan. 10 at Bellingham, Jan. 17 Oly Town, January 24 at Tacoma Stars.
ARLINGTON AVIATORS (0-0-4)
The Arlington Aviators have seen the first half of their WISL season slip away without a win, but they can point to times in each loss where they were still competitive and it could have been a different outcome. The 7-6 loss in the final seconds at home to Oly Town was a killer blow. The next week in Tacoma the Aviators were down just 4-1 in the third quarter at Tacoma before they lost steam. It is just a matter of putting together the ‘complete game’ on offense and defense. The Aviators will need those kinds of performances to make a push for the playoffs. In cross-league play Arlington did represent the WISL with a 7-4 win over Seattle Sporting (PASL). There is scoring talent on the club with Aaron Burns, Winfred Smith and Russ Brown. In goal Erik Cruz has been keeping his club close. Arlington will need at the very least two wins and a tie in their final four matches to make the top four. The second half of the WISL schedule for Arlington is: Jan. 3 at Wenatchee, Jan. 17 Tacoma, Jan. 24 Bellingham, Jan. 31 at Oly Town.