Tacoma, WA. – Home is where the heart is. With this in mind, the Sounders FC U-23 has been blessed with three homes for the 2012 PDL season; Franklin Pierce HS, Cheney Stadium, and Tumwater HS. The team has been fortunate to partner with the local soccer community, including Franklin Pierce Soccer Club and Black Hills Football Club for the Franklin Pierce and Tumwater HS games. These organizations are working extremely hard behind the scenes to help promote the Sounders FC U-23. The youth clubs are selling tickets and pouring their hearts into providing an exciting game day environment for fans and players.
The youth clubs will help host the matches. This involves youth players, who will serve as ball kids for the games, and player’s families will help run concessions. Additionally, the players will provide half time entertainment, playing in mini-soccer-games.
Franklin Pierce Soccer Club will host five matches for the Sounders FC U-23 team; all five of these matches will be played at Franklin Pierce High School.
Franklin Pierce Soccer Club has strong ties within the community, having been established in 1969. They promote a strong family environment within the club and have teams ranging in age from 4-18 years old.
Joel Balmer, the Director of Coaching for Franklin Pierce Soccer Club, said this about FPSC, “We’re a volunteer club. We have a lot of goals and a lot of high aspirations for the club. Our club is a real family atmosphere. If you go to a game there might be fifty or sixty people there from other teams that come out to watch us. You just don’t see that at other clubs."
Although the Sounders FC U-23’s home opener at Franklin Pierce High School isn’t until May, 25th, Balmer is optimistic about the upcoming season, “I think people are pretty excited. Our tryouts start this weekend (May 5th and 6th) with the younger ages for the next three weeks. I think we’ll start selling tickets at a pretty good clip and there is going to be some really good involvement from the parents, coaches and the players."
Another aspect of the partnership between the organizations is the impact it will have on the kids that will have the opportunity to be close to elite-level athletes and interact with the players.
“The experience at the games, you’re so close to the field and you can experience that intensity and focus from the players. Our kids will be close to that, especially if you’re a ball boy or a ball girl. They’ll see that intensity and focus and see what it takes to become that next player. It’ll be neat for these kids to say “I handed that guy a ball one time at a game” and that’s something that’s just going to be awesome for the kids," said Joel Balmer.
June 2nd is surely a night that will be remembered in the Northwest. The Sounders FC U-23 will play Portland Timbers U-23 at Tumwater High School. The game will be hosted by Black Hills Football Club, a member of the Deschutes Youth Soccer Association, operating in the Greater Olympia area.
"We saw this as a great opportunity to bring a high level game to Thurston County. It is definitely an added bonus to have the Sounders U23s play the Portland Timbers U23s," said James Charette, Technical Director for Black Hills FC.
To learn more about our community partners, please visit their club websites:
Franklin Pierce Soccer Club: http://www.fpsoccer.org
Black Hills Football Club: http://www.blackhillsfc.org
The Sounders FC U-23 returns to training this week in preparation for their PDL League opener on May 11th against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. That game is followed by a match against Victoria on May 12th. The team’s first local action is a rivalry match against Kitsap Pumas on May, 19th in Bremerton, WA.
Partnerships for the May 30th and June 15th match at Cheney Stadium will be released soon. Get your tickets now to see the 1st soccer game in the re-modeled Cheney Stadium - CLICK HERE for info.
The Sounders FC U-23’s first home game is May 25th against the Victoria Highlanders. Kickoff for the historic home opener is 7:30 PM at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, WA.