You likely have heard the joke and punchline before: “How do you make a small fortune in soccer? Start with a big fortune.” It’s funny because it’s true.
(Cover photo: Tacoma Tide FC, 2011 by David Falk)
There has been plenty of social media buzz this week over the American soccer pyramid and the jostling for power and prominence among the various national leagues.
The latest news came yesterday when NPSL club Rafters FC revealed they were offered $10,000 by the PDL to leave the NPSL. They have declined.
Washington’s Folded / Rebranded / Moved Clubs
One way to look at the leagues our 4th Division clubs populate is to compile a list of current and former clubs in those leagues. Lower level soccer is a risky undertaking indeed. Owners get into the game for various reasons. The dream of running a club? A love for the game? A misconception that it can be profitable? A genuine desire to give players a place to play? A way to give back to a community?
|League||Years in WA||Active Clubs||Moved or Rebranded||Folded|
The PDL in various forms has had clubs in Washington dating back to 1994. Along the way the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) has also hosted Washington clubs. In our region, the PDL and NPSL have seen clubs in Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The table above and list below features only Washington State clubs. If we look beyond our borders we’ll see such clubs as Hood River FC / SO Samba / Gorge FC (NSPL, folded), Portland Spartans (NPSL, active) Southern Oregon Fuego (NPSL, folded), Idaho Wolves (NPSL, folded), Magic Valley FC (NPSL, active), Cascade Surge (PDL, folded) Lane United (PDL, active), Timbers U23 (PDL, active), Willamette Valley Firebirds (PDL, folded), Victoria Highlanders (PDL, folded, relaunched), Calgary Storm (PDL, folded), Calgary Foothills FC (PDL, active) Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves (PDL, folded), Abbotsford Rangers (PDL, folded), Abbotsford Mariners (PDL, folded.) —Who did I forget?
Still active: Sounders U23, Washington Crossfire
Active in a new league: Kitsap Pumas (NPSL)
Moved: Yakima Reds (1995-2010) became the North Sound SeaWolves (Everett) and then the Puget Sound Gunners (Issaquah) before their PDL rights were sold to the current Victoria Highlanders (Canada.)
The Seattle Wolves (2008-2009) PDL rights were sold to Washington Crossfire (Redmond) (2010-.)
The Tacoma Tide (2006-2011) PDL rights were sold to Sounders U23 (Tacoma) (2012-.)
Still active: OSA FC, Kitsap Pumas
Moved: Tacoma 253 FC moved to Kent to become OSA FC.
Still active: Bellingham United (2012-), Olympic Force (Bremerton) (2015-), Seattle Stars FC (2011-), South Sound FC (Tacoma) (2011-), Spokane Shadow (2014-) , Yakima United FC (2011-.)
Name change: WestSound FC (2014) became Olympic Force (2015-.)
Folded: Wenatchee FC (2014-2016)