The Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) will have a very different look and feel in 2018 after a couple of months of transformative off-season news. The elite adult men’s soccer league will enter its fifth season of play with a new President, a new club, at least two new head coaches, and a new competition format.
The off-season news began when the EPLWA accepted Tri-Cities Alliance FC into the league as the ninth member club. After four seasons with a table of eight sides, the clubs had agreed to increase their numbers by one. Once in, Tri-Cities Alliance FC decided to make some news of their own when they announced an agreement to have their home matches streamed online by SWX Right Now (NBC)
The Evergreen Premier League meeting held in early November included the vote to replace outgoing President Peter Ostrovsky. The clubs voted in Tim Busch, the President of the Washington State Adult Soccer Association, as the new EPLWA President. In an email he sent out after the meeting, Busch told EPLWA clubs: “Yesterday was a historic day in the five-year history of the Evergreen Premier League Washington, as Peter Ostrovsky stepped down as the first and only President of our league. Thank you again Peter for your service to EPLWA and competitive adult soccer in Washington. I am humbled by the support of the clubs in electing me as President of EPLWA for the next two years. It is an honor to serve you and the vital adult soccer community in the Evergreen State.”
Coastal, Cascade, Columbia
The groundwork was laid at the November meetings to discuss, design and then vote on the competition format for the 2018 season in light of adding a ninth club. Barrett Goddard of Vancouver Victory chaired a group that communicated over a few weeks to distill a presentation the league’s clubs could vote on. On December 5 the league held a conference call to make a decision. The new format easily passed and suddenly the Evergreen Premier League had three divisions and its first-ever playoff format to decide the league champion.
The league set itself up for less travel and further expansion by creating three divisions: Coastal, Cascade and Columbia. The three division winners and one wild card side will make the post season and play in semifinal and final rounds.
Ready out at Vancouver, Stevenson in at Yakima
Head coaches have been in the news in the Evergreen Premier League in the off-season. Vancouver Victory FC announced that Troy Ready would not be back in 2018. He was hired in 2017 and then later got the head coaching job at Warner Pacific. The Victory have not yet announced a replacement.
It is a notable changing of the guard in Yakima as Hector Vega steps down and Dennis Stevenson comes in as the new Yakima United FC Head Coach. Vega remains the President of the Hoppers after being their only EPLWA Head Coach over the last four seasons.
WSASA Hall of Fame Honors for EPLWA
On November 4 the Evergreen Premier League scored big at the annual Washington State Adult Soccer Hall of Fame banquet. All-time EPLWA leading goal scorer Tyler Bjork of the Seattle Stars was named Male Player of the Year for 2017 after scoring 14 goals and leading the Stars to their first EPLWA trophy.
Peter Ostrovsky was honored with the WSASA Presidents Award after also being named President Emeritus at the league meetings.
Yakima United’s Teresa Vega was inducted into the WSASA Hall of Fame for her career of service to Washington adult soccer.
Vancouver Victory news
Just to make sure there is even more before the calendar year closes, Vancouver Victory FC announced some major news on Friday December 29. The 4-year-old side will now be operated by Washington Timbers FC youth club.
Further, V2FC will stream all of their home games in 2018.
Even as the dust of the news remains wafting through the air fans voted on their biggest EPLWA moments of 2017 – missing were some that happened after the ballot was put online.