TRI-CITIES, WA –The Tri-City region boasts successful baseball and hockey teams. The area is also home to a growing youth soccer movement. Yet, past high school, the options for local soccer players remain limited. Tri-Cities remains the largest metro area in Washington without a semi-professional soccer team. Three men – Ramiro De La Mora, Zachary Sansom, and Jared Loveless – are setting out to remedy that.
The men have announced the founding of Tri-Cities Alliance Football Club (TCAFC), a semi-professional adult men’s soccer team that will fill the elite soccer void in the region.
Serving as TCAFC’s General Manager (aka: Soccer Guru) will be Ramiro De La Mora. Ramiro has been around soccer all his life, but started playing organized games in the Tri-Cities at the age of 12. During his high school years at Pasco High School, he played in the local men’s league where his passion for soccer in the community developed. After high school, he managed the local indoor soccer facility where he was in charge of leagues for all ages, as well as youth soccer training. In 2014, Ramiro was chosen to take over the Pasco Soccer League as President. Since then, he has been active in organizing teams to play friendly matches against semi-professional clubs across the region, including current Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) teams. His goal is simple – yet ambitious – as he aims to unite Tri-Cities’ soccer and develop players from grass roots to a professional level.
To handle the behind the scenes operations, TCAFC will turn to a new Tri-City resident, Zachary Sansom. Zachary developed his love of soccer during the high school years he spent in Germany. Leaving Germany an avid Bayern Munich fan, Zachary returned stateside where he attended college before joining the United States Navy. While stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, Zachary volunteered with their local soccer team, the Charleston Battery, in a successful campaign to grow the fan base and the military community support. After moving to the Tri-Cities to work at the Hanford Site, the lack of a professional soccer team served as motivation to help bring the TCAFC to life. In addition to his duties as TCAFC’s Operations Manager, Zachary maintains his military affiliation as a Technical Sergeant in the Washington Air National Guard.
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of the business scene, it helps to have someone with a knack for business leadership. Filling the role of Business Manager for TCAFC is Jared “JD” Loveless. JD started playing soccer as a youth player and continued to play competitively through his high school years. After joining the United States Navy, he continued to play in adult recreation leagues in the communities and on the bases where he was stationed. After leaving the military, JD moved to Dallas, Texas. There, he was introduced to Major League Soccer (specifically FC Dallas), reigniting and expanding his passion for the game. He moved to the Tri-Cities area where he volunteers for the local youth leagues and serves as a referee for various levels of play. For TCAFC, JD brings a level head and a knack for ensuring the team is ready for the future.
“I think we have an ownership group that’s second to none,” Zachary boasts. “We have the homegrown kid in Ramiro who knows every in-and-out of soccer in the Tri-Cities, as well as having a great business mind. He’s fantastic. Mix in the discipline that comes with JD’s years as in the military and as a soccer ref and his ability to compliment almost every weakness I have as a businessman, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team around me.”
“There’s still a lot to figure out,” Zachary continues. “But I promise y’all this, we’re for real. Tri-Cities Alliance FC is going to make some noise in 2017 and, hopefully, be playing in a major league in 2018.”
The team will operate as a traveling tournament team for 2017 with a goal of playing for a major regional soccer league in 2018.