TRI-CITIES, WA – Entering the first year of league play, Tri-Cities Alliance FC isn’t taking the season lightly. In fact, the Lions are charging in full force with a jam-packed schedule!
“It’s important for us to give the players and fans as much soccer as we possible can in these few months of summer we have,” explained Operations Manager Zachary Sansom. “These guys want to play the game and we want them to do so on some of the biggest stages we can set for them. So, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The preseason is going to be a true test for the team as they have booked friendlies against a tough Yakima team, Chiquilladas FC, on April 7th and a new, up-and-coming squad from the Western Washington Premier League, Kirkland FC, on April 15th. These two games will serve as demanding tests prior to the club heading to Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila to compete in the Eddie Craggs Memorial Evergreen Cup from April 20th to April 22nd.
After taking a break that last weekend in April, Tri-Cities Alliance FC kicks off Evergeen Premier League play with three straight divisional match-ups that will set the stage early for the team’s playoff hopes. With the winner of each EPLWA division (Columbia, Cascade, Coastal) earning an automatic playoff spot, the first three games – at Spokane, at Yakima, and then returning home to Neil F. Lampson Stadium to host Spokane – are crucial for TCAFC’s desires to win the Columbia division crown and that coveted playoff spot.
“We’re not interested in just competing. We want to win games, earn a playoff spot, and via for the Peter Ostrovsky Cup and the EPLWA Championship,” JD Loveless, the team’s Business Manager, explained. “So, we’re excited that we get to set the tone for the season right out of the gate. The league wants to test us new guys so we’ll be ready.”
After taking Memorial Day weekend off, the team hits the road to take on defending EPLWA league champs, Seattle Stars FC, in Seattle on June 3rd. Following that match-up, the team will pull a double-header the following weekend, hosting Olympic Force SC in Tri-Cities on June 9th before heading to Vancouver to take on the 2016 EPLWA league champions, Vancouver Victory FC on June 10th.
AB Moreno, TCAFC’s head coach, is excited about the possibilities of facing the leagues last two champions so close together. “Taking on the league’s 2017 champions and following that up with the 2016 champions – both away games – will be a test for our players. It’s a tough stretch of the schedule.”
TCAFC again heads out of town on June 16th to take on Oly Town FC Artesians in Olympia before hosting three straight home games to close out the EPLWA season. Those home games – against Yakima United FC on June 23rd, Bellingham United FC on June 30th, and Washington Premier FC on July 7th – will serve to build the playoff momentum the team hopes to need by this point in the season.
The EPLWA playoffs will commence the weekend of July 21st and 22nd with two semi-final matchups, followed up the next weekend with the EPLWA Championship match. Prior to the playoffs however, Tri-Cities Alliance FC will make the trip up to Bellingham, Washington to represent our community in the SoccerFest 2018 tournament – a week long event held from July 10th to July 15th and hosting teams from across the country and the world!
“It’s going to be exciting!” Ramiro De La Mora, the team’s General Manager, exclaimed. “Lots of soccer. Lots of matches and tournaments. It’s going to be tough, fun year for TCAFC.”
While the dates, times, and locations have been set for home matches, TCAFC is still working with the hosts of their away games to set times and locations for those matches. The schedule will be updated accordingly once those details have been finalized.
The team is still working out the logistics of ticket sales, but an announcement is anticipated by the end of March.
The full schedule is listed below: