The drawn out story of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) and its troubles in the Northwest may have reached their final sentence. The Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), started last year by local indoor soccer clubs and arena operators, has accepted in the former PASL side Seattle Sporting FC, which will now join the circuit as the 8th club under the moniker Sporting Everett FC. As of this article it appears there are no PASL clubs operating in the Northwest.
The WISL lost the Arlington Aviators due to the closure of Soccer First in Arlington, but has gained four clubs to bloom from 5 in 2014-15 to 8 for the upcoming season. New to the WISL are Vancouver Victory FC (expansion) and former PASL sides Olympic Force, Snohomish Skyhawks and Sporting Everett.
For the first time in years it appears that all of Washington’s elite adult indoor clubs will not only be in the same league, but also will operate with only indoor soccer in mind. Previously many of the clubs dealt with the PASL as an adversary at the national and regional level. The WISL was formed out of frustrations with the league and experiences of out-of-touch operations by commissioner Kevin Milliken.
The WISL will announce its 2015-16 competition format and schedule soon as the league prepares to kick off in mid November. See the Sporting Everett FC press release below.
Sporting is a continuation of the indoor program started last year under the banner of “Seattle Sporting FC,” who played one season in the PASL. The club played its matches in Everett that season, and will now adopt the town’s name. “Being that we are staying in Everett long term and everyone still refers to us as “Sporting”, we will now be known as Sporting Everett FC,” says General Manager Aaron Johnson.
Craig Otto will coach Sporting Everett and help Johnson run the club. Last year in the PASL Sporting played well in a 7-3 season. They lost at home just once, to the Olympic Force, who are now also in the WISL. Sporting and the Force played in the PASL playoffs last season, with the Force claiming the division with a 5-1 win in Bremerton.
“The WISL is a well-run league that fits with the competitive atmosphere and play of our club,” Johnson says. Sporting will host open tryouts on October 24 and 25 at the Everett Soccer Arena, from 10 AM to noon both days.
“We are pleased to have Sporting Everett join the WISL,” says league Commissioner John Crouch. “They provide a nice rivalry for the Snohomish Skyhawks, and also a closer foe for Bellingham United FC. We are excited about the line-up of eight clubs that will compete for a championship this winter.”
Sporting Everett FC will reveal a club crest at a later date.
The Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) is now at 8 clubs: Bellingham United, Olympic Force, Oly Town FC, Snohomish Skyhawks, Sporting Everett FC, Tacoma Stars Reserves, Vancouver Victory, Wenatchee Fire.