Evergreen Premier League: Big weekend ahead for Hammers, Force

The Evergreen Premier League is approaching midpoint of its 14-match season and there are five contests this weekend to sort out the current table. Bellingham United FC (Hammers) and the Olympic Force play twice each.

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The Hammers of BUFC are off to a very nice start and are currently third in the table after five matches played. They have two matches in hand over second place Spokane, but Bellingham plays twice in a short turnaround Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday night Bellingham (4-1-0) visits Bremerton to play the Olympic Force (1-4-1) at 7:30 PM at Gordon Field. BUFC has never won a league match in Kitsap County. They drew 1-1 with WestSound FC in 2014 and lost 4-2 to the Force in 2015. Suprisingly, Bellingham has also dropped two of three home matches against Kitsap foes since the league began play in 2014. The breakthrough for the Hammers came earlier this year when they took a 3-1 win over Olympic at Civic Stadium. An added twist will be the leftover feelings from indoor — when the Hammers and Force played for the Western Indoor Soccer League title in February at the Bellingham Sportsplex. BUFC won the trophy that night, 8-5.

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The Hammers scored their first-ever win over the Force in EPLWA play earlier this season at Civic Stadium. (Force photo)

The Hammers turnaround for a Sunday matinee back home in what looks like the big match in the EPLWA slate for the weekend. BUFC hosts first place unbeaten Vancouver Victory FC at 3 PM at Civic Stadium. Ealier in the season the Victory took a 2-0 win over the Hammers in Vancouver. Bellingham has home field advantage but it will be a test to keep fresh legs playing again less than a day later.

The Force are hoping to turn their season around this weekend and certainly they can do so with positive results against Bellingham – and again on Sunday night when they host Wenatchee FC at 7 PM, also at Gordon Field. Wenatchee FC did the double last week in impressive style when they beat South Sound 3-1 at the Apple Bowl and then stunned the league with a 2-0 win at Spokane the next day. Eleazar Galvan scored a hat trick last year at Gordon Field as the Capitals won, 4-1.

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The Hammers and Victory play a first-place showdown on Sunday at 3 PM at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. (V2FC photo)

Yakima United and Seattle Stars are the two clubs in the Evergreen Premier League that have yet to post a win in 2016. Both are 0-3-2 and will be hoping to breakthroughs against tough competition. The Hoppers host South Sound FC at 6:30 PM on Saturday night at Marquette Stadium. The Shock sit in the middle of the table. Over in Spokane the Seattle Stars will be hoping they can conjure up some of the stellar play they displayed last year at Spokane Falls Stadium when they drew the Shadow 1-1. The Shadow are second in the current table.

This weekend will go a  long way in deciding the seasons for the Force and Hammers. Olympic can turn their season around while also making waves at the top of the table. Bellingham United can take over first place if they earn a sweep.

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