Friday, September 26, 2008

Kitsap won't face Yakima in 2009 as Reds fold

Reds sit on the stairs before a 2007 match in Tacoma.

It is a sad day for soccer in the state of Washington and for fans of the Yakima Reds.

It had been reported that the Reds were looking for investors to remain alive for 2009. Yesterday the club website posted the following message:

Yakima Reds forced to call it quits after 14 years in the Yakima community - It is with great sadness that I have to write this email to inform you that the Yakima Reds will no longer be a part of the United Soccer Leagues or the Yakima Community. Irwin Research & Development, the owner of the Yakima Reds, has been greatly effected by the current economy, and does not have the finances to support the Yakima Reds in 2009. We have had some great sponsors who have supported us through the years, but the majority of the expenses were covered by Irwin Research & Development. We have tried to get backing from other business owners in our area, sending out letters asking for support, but just could not come up with the funding to commit for 2009 in the time that was needed.

Fans of Tacoma Tide FC will be especially saddened by these developments. In three short seasons the Tide and Reds became strong rivals. The battles of Yellow v. Red never failed to produce exciting and often emotional soccer.

The Reds came into the PDL just one season after the current Sounders came back to life in what is now the USL-1. For fourteen seasons the Reds brought soccer to the Valley and gave fans and players a chance to celebrate the beautiful game.

Along the way players like Jake Sagare and 2008 League MVP Junior Garcia starred for Yakima. The Reds lived on after the Spokane Shadow folded in early 2006. Out of the death of the Shadow Tacoma FC quickly came to life and took over the Shadow's home dates out west. Tacoma FC and Yakima met for the first time on May 20, 2006. TFC got their first goal and first-ever point in a 1-1 draw with the Reds. The Reds and Tide played 8 matches against each other with Tacoma winning the derby 4-2-2.

I remember vividly the last Tacoma home match of just a few months ago. The playoffs and the division were on the line as the Tide hosted the Reds. Up in the stands the traveling contingent from Yakima included the owner, player wives, relatives and other fans. Even though the visitors went home that night with a loss, they knew they had played in a 'big match' and the fans knew they had traveled well.

Here's hoping that, much like the Shadow of Spokane eventually were brought back as the Spiders, Yakima sees soccer returning again as an oasis during its blazing summers.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Subscribe and Follow the LOCAL game

I've added two new features to the three soccer blogs I post in. You can now subscribe easily to GOALSeattle, GOALTacoma and GOALKitsap blogs by clicking the menu in the top right corner on each blog.

You can now link your blog and show you follow these Puget Sound soccer blogs by using the "Follow" menu at the very bottom of all three blog's pages.

Being a soccer fan in our area completely rocks right now!

We've got Major League Soccer on the way in Seattle, PDL soccer on the way in Bremerton, and a very successful, fun to watch club wearing yellow in Tacoma.

If you ever want to send along any content, links or ideas for any of the blogs, just email me at or post in the comments area.

We are the SOUND of Soccer!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Naming Kitsap Soccer Club

UPDATE: You can now vote for the Kitsap Soccer Club name online at

One of the most fun parts of getting on board with a club as they are being born is brainstorming possible names for that club.

In the case of Kitsap Soccer Club, which plans to kick off in the USL Premier Development League in 2009, we have a challenge on our hands. Should the name be something local? Something that sounds good phonetically? Something traditional? Something that takes a risk?

The club has already mentioned that they'll hold an on-line name the team contest. We don't know yet if they'll supply the choices or if fans can submit their own. In recent weeks we've heard owner Robin Waite suggest Pipers, Pilots, Pumas, Paladins and Kaisers.

"Pipers" is OK, and would sound good, though it certainly leans towards a Scottish flair. "Pilots" works but of course was once used locally for a one-year Seattle pro baseball club. "Pumas" has the two-syllable thing going, but isn't very local. "Paladins" is original and clever because it plays off of the Bremerton "Knights" name (local high school and stadium Kitsap will play in). It might be a bit obscure. "Kaisers" adds the double 'k' sound, but is rather German.

Here are three names I'd like to suggest, with reasons why I think they would work.

My favorite is Kitsap Kayaks. It has the 'sound' thing going for it, and it also reminds me of the local waters here in the West Sound, where quiet tides are often cut by the bows of kayakers crossing from shore to shore. It is also original, and everyone knows what a kayak is. There is also a nod to the native population, as the word is of Eskimo origin.

I also really like Kitsap Destroyers. It would be going an entirely different direction, and might even be a big seller if the crest was done right. Destroyers are the fast-moving warships that made a big difference in World War II. The Bremerton waterfront is the resting home for the U.S.S. Turner Joy, a famous destroyer.

More on the risky end but still cool is the name Kitsap Kites. Kites has the alliteration down, and could offer multiple crest options. There is the traditional flying kite we all are familiar with. There are also 'kites' that power ships as sails, or 'kite sails.' (Edit: an email sent to me reminded that Africa is the home of Kite Falcons. Further, the term kite is used widely amongst bird watchers.)

Sometime before the end of the year will come online as a first official sign that the team is about to form. What will the name be for the local side? What is your favorite choice?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kitsap Sun: Soccer could be on its way

By Chuck Stark
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Robin Waite looks like he's getting close to the end of the road in his quest to bring professional soccer to Kitsap County.

"It's been a long slow journey," Waite said. "But it looks like we're going to make it."

There are still details to hammer out and contracts to sign, but Waite is confident he'll have a United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League franchise playing at Bremerton Memorial Stadium by May 2009.

Waite and the Bremerton School District are close to putting together a lease agreement that will allow the Tracyton resident to use the high school stadium for home games.

Wayne Lindgren, director of finance and operations for the school district, said district officials and Waite would meet within the next two weeks.

"He wants to get moving on this," Lindgren said of Waite, the owner of Invovest Properties who a year ago was putting together plans to build a $3.2 million, 6,000-seat, soccer-only stadium in Poulsbo.

His monetary investment in this stadium project is considerably less — about $200,000, said Waite.

As a show of good faith, Waite's already agreed to purchase a new scoreboard for the stadium even if the deal falls through or the league folds. And he said he will install a video board, add about 1,500 bleacher seats for the end zones, provide security for the neighborhoods and traffic control in the beginning, and also provide financing for some needed drainage work on the grass field.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

OC Rangers video highlights from Edmonds

The Olympic College Rangers faced Edmonds last weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Community warms to Kitsap Pro Soccer plans

Kitsap looks like it is getting a pro soccer club.

A meeting at Bremerton High School on September 11th drew local residents, soccer fans and school board and community advocates together to talk about the possible impact a new pro soccer club would have on Bremerton and the high school stadium.

Robin Waite introduced his plans for bringing a professional soccer club to Bremerton in 2009. He told the gathering of about fifty that the "Kitsap Soccer Club" will be putting a website online within the next few weeks at

Debate remains about the surface of Memorial Stadium. Waite would prefer grass with new drainage and a wider pitch. The school district prefers the functionality of Field Turf.

School and community officials talk about using Memorial Stadium for pro soccer.

Waite has purchased a scoreboard for the stadium as a goodwill gift to the Bremerton School District. He hopes to add a video screen later if the district approves use of the venue for pro soccer.

Attendees talked about traffic, ticket prices, even what the club would be called. Waite revealed the choices that can be voted on when the club website comes online: Pilots, Paladins, Pumas or Kaisers. There is an 'other' option, which drew a sign of relief from some in the crowd who didn't like any of those suggestions.

Club owner Robin Waite addresses the gathering.

The new Kitsap club will be in no way connected to the current Seattle Sounders in name or in league. They will be enough of the same 'franchise' to allow Waite, a current Sounders owner, to transfer them without paying new club fees, but Kitsap will begin life in the Premier Development League (PDL) with hopes of doing more soon after that. United Soccer Leagues First Division will go dark in the state of Washington.

The PDL is a summer league (May-July) that uses college talent to staff clubs' unpaid rosters. It is the third level in the United Soccer Leagues system. Waite says his Kitsap PDL club will be professional and will pay its players. He says this is already happening in Vancouver with the Whitecaps residency club, and may also happen next year when Victoria Highlanders FC join the league.

Further, Waite is in communication with at least six other clubs now at the PDL level who would also like to 'go pro' and build what would amount to a USL Second Division "Western Conference." Waite would like Kitsap to go to that level.

The idea of pro soccer at Memorial Stadium was warmly received.

Finally, Waite spoke briefly to me personally about Tacoma Tide FC, a club that will now be a rival 30 miles to the south. He believes that TFC might at some point also want to go pro in the PDL in hopes of moving up to the talked-about USL-2 West.

Kitsap plans to charge $10, $8 and $5 for tickets with the $5 dollar seats being added at both ends of the pitch in roll-away seating. With the addition of around 1,600 end line seats the capacity of Memorial would be raised to around 4,700. Waite said he has hopes to host the Des Moines Menace at some point in an attempt to break their regular season PDL single match attendance record of just under 4,000.

Olympic College has been contacted in regards to use of their parking lots.

Kitsap Pro Soccer Club promised neighbors at the meeting that they would over-staff the first few matches the club played to be sure that traffic did not become an issue around local streets.

The public has had their initial say and now Waite and the School District need to finalize the details before the club can kick off in Bremerton in 2009. Indications from the meeting are that public response is favorable and won't be a barrier in making things work.