TACOMA, Wash. — (club release) The Tacoma Stars today announced the signing of Gig Harbor native Danny Waltman to a contract for the 2015 season. The veteran goalkeeper represents the first official signing by the Stars as the franchise prepares for its first full season playing in the Major Arena Soccer League.
Waltman, 33, was born and raised in the South Sound, and his father was a member of the group that owned the Tacoma Stars during its legendary seasons playing at the Tacoma Dome in the 1980s and 1990s.
The former standout at Bellarmine Preparatory Academy and the University of Washington joins the Stars following five seasons with the Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Waltman leaves the Comets to capitalize on the first opportunity of his professional career to play indoor soccer in Tacoma.
“I waited my whole career for the Stars to come back,” said Waltman. “I knew that there was a sleeping giant, as far as the indoor soccer market in Tacoma. I’m so thankful that they’re coming back into the league, and more thankful that I get to be a part of it.”
“I grew up on indoor soccer, so I bring some history. I grew up going to Tacoma Stars games. I kind of feel like I grew up in the Tacoma Dome and that those games were the best nights of my life as a kid. This is a dream come true to play for the Stars.”
Waltman’s professional indoor soccer career began in 2004 when he was signed by the Chicago Storm of the MISL. After three seasons with Chicago, he logged time with the Detroit Ignition (2006-09) and Rockford Rampage (2009-10) before signing with Missouri in 2010. Waltman led the Comets to back-to-back appearances in the MISL semifinals in 2011 and 2012, and he was instrumental in the club reaching the MISL championship in 2014.
His outdoor soccer experience includes one season with the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division in 2004, when he was teammates with Darren Sawatzky, current head coach and general manager for the Stars.
“Danny is the top goalkeeper in our league,” said Sawatzky. “We are lucky that he is a Tacoma boy, wants to come home, and that he has great character.”
“After watching him play youth soccer, working with him in college, and ultimately watching his professional career blossom, I can’t think of a better person to be our first signing. As we build our team for the winter professional season, we will look to add more guys of his caliber so that we are the asset to our community that we should be, and a group that puts hardware in the cabinet.”
Waltman is set to make his first public appearance as a member of the Stars during the Tacoma Rainiers game against the Albuquerque Isotopes on Thursday, June 11 at Cheney Stadium. He and other influential members of the Pacific Northwest soccer community, including former Stars and Seattle Sounders players, will be guests of honor at a special VIP event held at the ballpark beginning at 5 p.m. that evening. The VIP event is open to all those who purchase season ticket packages for the Stars upcoming MASL season.
The Stars officially begin the team’s 2015 campaign on Friday, November 6 at the ShoWare Center. Season ticket packages for the upcoming season are available for purchase now, including the limited edition Legacy Membership offering lifetime tickets to the first 253 to sign up.
To purchase a Legacy Membership, or to find out more information on season tickets, group outings, or suite offerings, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Tacoma Stars online at www.tacomastars.com. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars leading up to the start of the 2015 season can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.