TACOMA, WA — (WPSSFC release) South Sound FC and Washington Premier FC are proud to announce a merger that will further the connection of youth and adult soccer in the Puget Sound Region. Going forward, South Sound FC will be called Washington Premier South Sound FC (WPSSFC) in an effort to maintain the heritage of the competitive adult club, as well as brand the partnership appropriately with the region’s top high-level youth club.
“The culture that WP has around the game and the opportunities this partnership provides match up perfectly with our goals on and off the field,” South Sound FC founder John Crouch said. We believe that the soccer culture we will create on game day with WP families and staff combined, with our current fans, will be second-to-none in our leagues. A built-in youth club fan base that can meet and be a part of our teams will be huge for creating the culture our club has always believed is best for this level of play.”
South Sound FC has operated in the Puget Sound since 2009, creating playing opportunities for young men and adding a women’s side in 2016. SSFC has competed in the United States Adult Soccer Association National U23 tournament since 2011, going on to win the title in 2015. During that time SSFC has competed in the Evergreen Premier League since its formation in 2013 and added the women’s program to compete in the Northwest Premier League in 2016.
The long time goal of South Sound FC has always been to create playing opportunities for young adults to enhance their skills and their life experiences around the game. South Sound FC currently aims to primarily help college players stay fit and sharp during their summers.
The merger between South Sound and Washington Premier will create great playing opportunities and help both sides achieve their goals. WPSSFC will cater primarily to the U23 player pool and will give WPFC alumni, local college players, and other local talents an opportunity to compete at a high level.
WPSSFC will utilize Washington Premier facilities for all training sessions and games. Playing league matches at WP facilities is not only financially advantageous, but will also create a great gameday environment for players and spectators with the built in fan base of WPFC.
Seth Spidahl spearheaded this partnership with South Sound ownership and had this to say about the merger, “Washington Premier FC and our staff are fired up for the opportunity we have with South Sound FC! This will allow our college alumni a place to come back for organized, structured training and to play meaningful games. Along with this it gives our current WPFC youth players an opportunity to train and play with and against college players. This will be awesome for their personal growth and soccer development. This relationship sets WPFC apart from most other RCL clubs as we will be able to provide opportunities to play beyond youth soccer!”
As an example of successes drawn between the first year of this partnership, Tacoma Community College won the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship title in the fall of 2016. The Titans had six league all-stars on their team, all SSFC players, and all but one WPFC alumni including Evan Munn, Logan Jones, Eddie Brown, Adrian Correa, Ian Karanja, and West Region MVP and all-star Connor Desmond.
On the women’s side, Pacific Lutheran Women’s Soccer team stood to benefit most as the standout from South Sound FC summer programs. They went undefeated for the first time in PLU Women’s soccer history (16-0-4) and went on to win the 2016 Northwest Conference Division III. They had 11 NWC all league team selections and 5 players named to the All West Region team- Kelly White, Takara Mitsui, Machaela Graddy, Hailey Smoot and Kaylie Rozell. All 11 of the all-league and all-region players were South Sound women players and goalkeeper Takara went as far as earning 2nd team All-American honors (the first ever Division III all American in women’s college soccer history).
These successes extended to Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Western Washington University, and many other colleges as SSFC athletes who fine-tuned their skills came into their college season in form after the 2016 summer EPLWA/NWPL seasons.
WPSSFC looks forward to many years of developing top talent in the South Puget Sound region and beyond by creating strong connections between the high-level youth game and the competitive men’s game and beyond.