(STORY COURTESY OF goalwa.net)
TRI-CITIES, WA – It has been over a month since Tri-Cities Alliance FC stepped foot on a pitch in a competitive manner. Based on recent results, it was time well spent. After a tough outing in Bellingham in May (a 3-2 loss), the team took the short trip down to Hermiston, Oregon to play in a tournament hosted by La Liga de Hermiston. The result was a string of four victories and a championship trophy.
“The guys played their hearts out and the team clicked really well out there,” General Manager Ramiro De La Mora said of the team’s performance.
The first two games were hard-fought, but decisive victories for TCAFC. After winning both matches on Saturday by scores of 3-1 and 2-1, the team ran into much more of a challenge in Sunday’s match-ups.
The first match on Sunday pitted the team against a tough local Hermiston team. The two teams battled to a 1-1 full-time score. After a scoreless overtime period, TCAFC prevailed in the shoot-out with a 3-2 victory.
The championship game brought early stress to the match. Drawing a red card within the first 5 minutes left TCAFC playing a man down the rest of the way. Battling through the adversity, TCAFC managed a 1-1 tie to end regulation. In overtime, both teams added a goal, setting the stage for a shoot-out to determine the champion. TCAFC netted 4 goals from their first 4 shooters and the TCAFC keeper, Israel Garcia, saved 2 of the first 4 shots he faced, allowing the team to take home the trophy with a 4-2 shoot-out victory.
“You can see the team chemistry forming the longer these guys play together,” explained the team’s Business Manager, JD Loveless. “I am looking forward to seeing how the results of winning those two gritty games last weekend translate when we head to Tukwila this weekend.”
Ramiro echoed that sentiment. “I saw a team out there that has a lot of heart and pride in what they are doing, with a lot of skill and talent to go along with it. We were down a man five minutes into the championship game. The guys pulled together and stepped it up. The biggest thing we had come out of this tournament was the trust we gained and the show of heart we proved to each other.”
This weekend, the team is headed up to Tukwila to play in the Copa Washington tournament hosted by Starfire Sports.
“Last week’s results were awesome. I couldn’t be prouder,” Operations Manager, Zachary Sansom said. “But next weekend is not last weekend. We opened some eyes in Hermiston. Now, we have to do that all over again in Tukwila. The players know that. The coaches know that. I expect big things from these guys because they continually set the bar higher and higher for themselves.”
“Every game and every tournament is another chance to show the state what we have been doing down here in the Tri-Cities,” Ramiro explained. “We know what we have here. We need to show everyone else.”
The team’s first game will be at 8pm on Friday, July 14th at the Starfire Sports Complex.