It’s a team effort for South Sound Football club as they head back to Virginia for the 2015 United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) U23 National Championships. The “team effort” involves two other clubs as well, Vancouver Victory FC and Wenatchee FC, who compete in the Evergreen Premier League alongside South Sound. Both are lending a player to the cause of winning a title for the state of Washington.
“This year we come in with guest players, one from Vancouver Victory, Timur Zhividze, that we have been planning to have all season,” says John Crouch, owner and General Manager of the “Shock.” “We were approached by Barrett Goddard, owner of the Vancouver Victory, early in our EPLWA season on adding Timur and thought it was a great idea as Barrett is interested in seeing his team compete in this tournament. We knew Timur would be a valuable asset. At the last minute we had two players have to bail from our roster due to injury. We added Luke Sandblom, this season’s assistant coach and two-time veteran of the national tournament travel squad (and key goal scorer,) along with the current EPLWA leading goal scorer Eleazar Galvan of Wenatchee FC.”
The Shock have been knocking at the door of a national title for several years. They are hoping that getting two key attacking talents will be the thing that sees them take it all in 2015. It’s also a move that clearly signals that these teams are interested in growing the sport in our region, not just their home towns.
“Adding the outside players shows our commitment to building soccer for our league and in our region and also shows our hunger to get the best players the best looks we can as a club,” Crouch says. “South Sound has always been committed to this and we are especially proud this season to start sharing the experience of the USASA national tournament with our fellow clubs in the EPLWA. We realize that players at the U23 level that are playing in the EPLWA need development and need opportunity to get many high-level games and as many looks from top coaches around the nation as they can get. As this year’s USASA South Sound FC national campaign kicks off, we want to point out that we would like to win this tournament for our league and for the sake of building development for young players in our region.”
Timur and Victory owner join the fun at Nationals
“I am excited to go back to Virginia with Timur and help South Sound compete for a national title,” Goddard says. “John Crouch (Shock owner) and I have a similar vision for providing opportunities for players in the northwest at the highest level possible. Joining forces here is an example of that and we are hoping we can win a national title for EPLWA.”
Zhividze has been busy with the Victory this year being rivals with the Shock. Now that club’s younger players will be joined by Timur on the same roster for a highly competitive weekend all the way across the other side of the country. Timur is looking forward to the challenges.
“First of all a huge thanks to John Crouch, the owner of South Sound and Adam Becker, the head coach, and their staff, for giving me this great opportunity,” says Zhividze, “and a huge thanks to Barrett Goddard, the Victory owner and Aaron Lewis the head coach of Victory and all the other staff, for connecting me with that team and sending me to play in the tournament with them. (I am) Really looking forward to the tournament and a great opportunity to compete against great players with a great team and represent this community well!”
Galvan’s stock rising as he prepares for Western Washington Vikings
Eleazar Galvan might be a last-minute addition to the South Sound roster, but he is certainly no afterthought. He leads the Evergreen Premier League in goals scored with 11. He’s the only player to repeat as “Player of the Week” in the EPLWA. He’s been signed to play Division II Men’s Soccer in Bellingham with Western Washington University of the GNAC. He’s already led his high school (Chelan) to a state championship. The crafty midfielder / forward is ready to get some East Coast exposure and be part of a winning weekend. “Playing for Wenatchee FC has definitely helped me become a better player,” Eleazar said in an interview during the off season. “It has helped me become more physical. Also it has helped me see the game from different perspectives. Practicing and playing vs. good players has also helped me become a better soccer player. Ever since I can remember, my dream has always been to one day make my family, friends, and the whole community proud by becoming a professional soccer player. I will do all it takes to pursue my dream!”
South Sound U23’s begin play on Friday July 17 at noon EST in the First Stage in Pool “C” against Brooklyn United. They play again six hours later against New Jersey Knights FC. Saturday July 18 at noon (EST) the Shock U23’s play Maricopa FC in their final Pool “C” match. The Winners of Pools A-C plus a wildcard team will play at 6 PM on Saturday in elimination semifinals. On Sunday July 19 at noon (EST) the two semifinal winners will play for the USASA U23 National Title.