Bellingham United has high hopes of hammering out an EPLWA title in 2016

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EPLWA Logo-07-600BELLINGHAM, WA— It’s amazing what winning a championship can do for your outlook. Bellingham United lived through a brutal summer in 2015 in the Evergreen Premier League, finishing last with just two wins and a 2-11-1 record. It was a hard road for a proud club. Still, the “Hammers” led the league in attendance. Then came the indoor season. A complete reversal as BUFC led wire-to-wire and took the playoffs as well to claim the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) crown before nearly 800 fans in a sold-out Bellingham Sportsplex.

Now it is time for the EPLWA campaign, and the Hammers are rightfully hopeful that they can vault from the WISL title to EPLWA contention.

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See their recent Facebook post to their fans below:

bufc-clearWith just a few hours until our EPLWA Home Opener against Wenatchee (May 1, 3 PM, Civic Stadium,Bellingham), wanted to remind everyone that it is Whatcom County Youth Soccer Association Day! If your WCYSA player wears their club jersey to the match they get in for FREE!

Here’s a preview of the 2016 BUFC Season- we are excited to start the EPLWA Season and see how far United can go!

As the 2016 EPLWA season kicks off this weekend, one thing is for sure: Bellingham United has high hopes to be the first team in league history to win both the WISL for indoor and the outdoor crown. It is a feat that is within the players and coaches’ ability. With a strong core and some players looking to join the squad as their spring college seasons wrap up, the sky is the limit for United.

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With returning players such as standouts Brendan Quilici (captain), Nick Cashmere and Kurtis Pederson United has experience and depth in several key positions. “It’s nice to have chemistry already created from last summer and indoor this past winter with players like Brendan and Kurtis,” Cashmere said. Rene Caro, who took last season off from BUFC to play with Kitsap Pumas in Bremerton, makes his return to the squad. Caro and Quilici will most likely be holding down the midfield, with Pederson and Cashmere causing havoc for opposing teams up top. Add in the mix returning player Mo Marenah, who has shown not only extremely athleticism, but has continued to impress the coaching staff and crowd with his improved tactical play this preseason. and you have an attack that is formidable. Not to mention that Richard Henderson, who finished third in goals with fifteen for the WISL season, will be joining the squad once he is done coaching the Western Washington University men’s spring season next week- goals should be plentiful this year for United.

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The Hammers believe they can put plenty of the new WestCoast Goalkeeping Hi-Viz EPLWA official match balls into the back of opposing nets this summer.

On the defensive side of the ball, United looks to improve from last year where they saw opponents reach the back of their net forty six times, with not a single shutout all season (worst in the league). Riley Liddle, Hector Guitierez and Mark Pollack have been sharing time in net during the preseason, while Jon James, Trever Bartles, Sawyer Preston, and Amara Toure have been the consistent starters in the back. With the return of Uche Ugwoaba and Keith Ferris, will positively play into the mix, as well as WWU Assistant Coach Conner Moe , Coach Calloway will have plenty of options defensively.

“This season the key for us to be successful will be in fielding a consistent lineup. Last season was a real challenge as we rarely fielded the same line up match to match last year due to injuries and other life events. This made it difficult to be consistent. This year we have some great additions to the squad such Sawyer and Trevor, Jon and having Rene back on the field with us. They have been consistent and solid this pre-season and with others will be locking down defensively,” comment Lance Calloway, Bellingham United’s Head Coach. “We also expect to be more effective in front of the net as last year we struggled. I believe we have players who are sharper this season than last and are more goal dangerous.”

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Along with the players mentioned above, United is bringing in several other college and international players to the squad that should compete for playing time right away. This season United will have an international flavor as Lukas Bayliss, a quick outside defender from New Zealand and Thiago Novis, a speedy Brazilian forward who plays at Montana State Billings Univ. will be looking to earn time on the pitch. United is also will have players from Gonzaga, St. Martins Univ., New Hampshire Univ and Trinity Western Univ. playing to earn a spot on the first team roster. With such a talented group, playing time will be at a premium, and will need to be earned during training.

With the EPLWA season lasting fourteen games, with half being on the road and half at home, the fans look to factor in more than ever as each point will matter. Luckily for United, fan support has never been a problem. With Errien ‘Hooligan Ron’ West and the Bellinghamsupporters Group, as well as the Alexander Staples heading the Black and White Army showing continued, unconditional support, we are expecting when teams come to play at Civic they will know who’s house they are in.

On paper, this looks to be a very promising season for an experienced group of players. “I am very excited for this season as I believe our fans are going to love watching Bellingham United on the field this season as we will be dynamic and playing some great soccer. The EPL WA is a league comprised of great squads and I expect United will be battling at the top,” commented Calloway. Sprinkle in players from great college programs across the country and the combination could mean a chance to bring home the EPLWA title.

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Aslan Brewing Company

Aslan Brewing Company has joined the Bellingham United corporate team this year and we couldn’t be more excited about how much they have and will continue to help our team grow! From providing beer for our beer garden togetting the boys new training tops, Aslan has been amazing!

Be sure to check out their website for menu, drink and catering options at

http://www.aslanbrewing.com/

 

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