THINK TANK FC: Tri-Cities gets another go at statewide men’s play

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Think Tank FC talks about running adult soccer clubs at the elite / semi-pro level in the state of Washington and the Northwest. David Falk is the Media Director for the Evergreen Premier League, Western Indoor Soccer League and Northwest Premier League. He founded soccer news website goalWA.net in 2011.

by David Falk

Congratulations to Tri-Cities Alliance FC on being named the newest club in the Evergreen Premier League. It’s great to see a region with a population nearing 200,000 (so says google) getting a chance to play the world’s game on a larger stage.

I can’t help but take this moment to look back at some previous Tri-Cities men’s adult soccer clubs that in their own ways blazed a trail that TCAFC is now following.

Columbia River FC

CRFCThere was a national league called the “National Star Soccer League (NSSL)” that included a handful of clubs from Washington. In 2010 Columbia River FC represented Tri-Cities in that league. Other Washington clubs were Chelan Warriors, Shelton Timberland FC and Yakima United. The NSSL went under due to shady practices by its founder. So those clubs moved on to the American National Soccer League (ANSL). When they did, Columbia River FC became the Tri-City Power.

There are still plenty of archived stories on the Tri-CityHerald.com website about CRFC. In one of them club founder Octavio DoValle talked about the struggles of founding a club in the Tri-Cities: (July 2010) The veteran coach who guided Richland High School to the 2003 4A boys state championship came close, but plans to start a United Soccer League team stalled and the project dissolved. Six years later, DoValle found a worthy partner in Spencer Moreno, a Pasco Soccer League coach who shared his vision, and the Columbia River Futbol Club was born.”I kind of got burned the first time. You’ve got to have the right combination of people with you,” DoValle said. “Spencer was the fire behind it.”

Columbia River FC were successful on the pitch. There are even a few videos of them online.

Tri-City Power AC

tricityI started communicating with a player named Luiz Martinez back when the Tri-City Power AC took over for Columbia River FC. They were looking for a league and eventually there was talk of forming something for the state — something much like the EPLWA has become — but that was still a few years away.

Luiz played for the Power and we worked to get them some online publicity. At one point the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) even held a conference call with some of these clubs. I was a part of the call as an observer. The clubs didn’t bite and history would show that Yakima United and Seattle Stars FC would eventually help found the EPLWA while Shelton Timberland FC, Columbia River FC and the Tri-City Power AC became notes in the local soccer history book. The remnants of a Power Facebook Page remain online today.

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Tri-City Power AC.

Luiz Martinez went on to eventually play in the Evergreen Premier League with Yakima United.

Alianza FC

alianza-tricities-crestMore recently Alianza FC was traveling and competing for the Tri-Cities area. Tri-Cities Alliance FC General Manager Ramiro De La Mora applied to join the EPLWA back in 2013 under this club’s name. The league had a second application from the Tri-Cities that year, and went with that one. More on fate of “FC3” is next.

Alianza was a big success in local leagues. They also traveled to play Yakima United and Wenatchee FC in Evergreen Premier League friendlies in recent years. Alianza in many ways has become the new TCAFC. The roots of the clubs are linked forever right down to the name and the Lion(s) in their logos.

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Alianza FC in 2015.

FC3

fc3clear-300In 2013 the Evergreen Premier League made the tough choice of picking the application of Three Rivers SC youth club over that of Alianza FC. So it was scheduled that a new club called “FC3” would represent the Tri-Cities in the EPLWA in 2014. Fate had other plans, though. The person behind the youth club’s push to join adult soccer suddenly left the side. At the first-ever EPLWA general meeting in Wenatchee, FC3 had not communicated with the league and did not bring any representatives. So the 7 clubs called on a different applicant – one that could be ready on short notice — a club called Yakima United. So Tri-Cities missed out on joining the EPLWA in 2014, and it certainly appeared that it might be a while before they were considered again. See goalWA.net coverage of FC3, a team that never took the pitch, here.

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FC3 held open tryouts before the EPLWA removed them in favor of Yakima United back in 2013. Hey look! The player at right is Luiz Martinez, who played for Tri-City Power AC and then YUFC.

Tri-Cities Alliance FC

TCAFCThat brings us to today. It’s 2017 and Tri-Cities Alliance FC have just been announced as new members of the Evergreen Premier League. Past clubs and soccer people in the Tri-Cities can be proud that they all share credit for keeping the love of the game alive and getting us to this point. The right guys (new owners Zachary Sansom and JD Loveless) came along and joined the battle already started years earlier – teaming up with fellow TCAFC owner Ramiro De La Mora. This time TCAFC has been voted in.

Kick off in Kennewick in 2018 can’t come soon enough.

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