“Joey has proven through his career that he is a leader on and off the field,” Sawatzky said. “We are thrilled to have him join the Tacoma Stars. He adds veteran leadership and he is an effective goal scorer. We will look to Joey to lead from day one and provide goal-scoring punch to a young, hungry team”
Gjertsen, 33, joins the Stars owning more than 10 years of professional soccer experience. The Tacoma native and Wilson High School product began his career in 2005 with Vancouver of the United Soccer League (USL), and won Team Rookie of the Year honors that season. He was named USL MVP following the Whitecaps run to the USL First Division Championship in 2006.
Gjertsen also logged three seasons with the Montreal Impact of the USL from 2007-09, and he appeared in 36 Major League Soccer games over three seasons at San Jose beginning in 2010. He appeared in five games with the Seattle Sounders U-23 club last year.
Gjertsen’s amateur playing career includes one season at Tacoma Community College and two seasons at Evergreen State College. At Evergreen, he was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year in 2003, and he earned All-American, All-Region Team and Region I Player of the Year honors in 2004. Gjertsen set a school record after scoring 54 goals in his two years with the Geoducks.
“There was no way I would pass up an oppurtunity to play for my hometown team, especially a team that was a staple of my childhood,” Gjertsen said. “I believe in this team and am excited to be a part of bringing them back.”
Gjertsen represents the third player signed by the Stars leading into the club’s first full season in the Major Arena Soccer League. He joins a roster that includes veteran goalkeeper Danny Waltman and forward Derek Johnson.
Season ticket packages, group outings, and suite offerings for the Tacoma Stars 2015-16 season are available now. To purchase, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the 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.