It has been over a month since Tri-Cities Alliance FC stepped foot on a pitch in a competitive manner. Based on recent results, it was time well spent. After a tough outing in Bellingham in May, the team took the short trip down to Hermiston, Oregon to play in a tournament hosted by La Liga de Hermiston. The result was a string of four victories and a championship trophy.
“The guys played their hearts out and the team clicked really well out there,” General Manager Ramiro De La Mora said of the team’s performance.
(Cover photo: TCAFC crest flag graphic by Nick Budrewicz)
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The first two games were hard-fought, but decisive victories for Tri-Cities Alliance FC. After winning both matches on Saturday by scores of 3-1 and 2-1, the team ran into much more of a challenge in Sunday’s matchups.
The first match on Sunday pitted the team against a tough local team. The two teams battled to a 1-1 full-time score. After a scoreless overtime period, Tri-Cities prevailed in the shoot-out with a 3-2 victory.
The championship game brought fireworks early on. Drawing a red card within the first 5 minutes left Tri-Cities playing a man down the rest of the way. Again, full-time ended in a 1-1 tie. In overtime, both teams added a goal setting the stage for a shoot-out to determine the champion. Tri-Cities got 4 goals from their first 4 shooters and the Tri-Cities keeper saved 2 of the first 4 shots he faced, allowing Tri-Cities to take home the trophy with a 4-2 shootout victory.
“You can see the team chemistry forming the longer these guys play together,” explained the team’s Business Manager, JD Loveless. “I am looking forward to seeing how the results of winning those two gritty games last weekend translate when we head to Tukwila this weekend.”
Ramiro echoed that sentiment. “I saw a team out there that has a lot of heart and pride in what they are doing, with a lot of skill and talent to go along with it. We were down a man five minutes into the championship game. The guys pulled together and stepped it up. The biggest thing we had come out of this tournament was the trust we gained and the show of heart we proved to each other.”
This weekend, the team is headed up to Tukwila to play in the Copa Washington tournament hosted by Starfire Sports.
“Last week’s results were awesome. I couldn’t be prouder,” Operations manager Zachary Sansom said. “But next weekend is not last weekend. We opened some eyes in Hermiston. Now, we have to do that all over again in Tukwila. The players know that. The coaches know that. I expect big things from these guys because they continually set the bar higher and higher for themselves.”
“Every game and every tournament is another chance to show the state what we have been doing down here in the Tri-Cities,” Ramiro explained. “We know what we have here. We need to show everyone else.”
The teams first game will be at 8pm on Friday, July 14th at the Starfire Sports Complex.