Category Archives: Sounders U-23

2012 Oly Sports moment of the year: Sounder U-23s in Tumwater

Sounders U-23's Jamael Cox hits a shot that proved to be the game winner.

Sounders U-23’s Jamael Cox hits a shot that proved to be the game winner.

1,400 soccer fans packed Tumwater Stadium on June 2nd to see the Sounders U-23s take on the Portland Timbers U23s. After a scoreless 90 minutes of play, Jamael Cox’s goal in stoppage time of the second half gave the Sounders the dramatic 1-0 win in the junior version of the Cascadia Cup. It may not sound like much, a mid-season Premier Development League game in front of a solid crowd, but it was enough to earn the Oly Sports moment of the year.

In their first season after years playing in near anonymity as the Tacoma Tides, the Sounders U-23s split their home games between Tacoma’s Franklin Pierce High School and Cheney Stadium and Tumwater Stadium. Changing their name and teaming with the Seattle Sounders was meant to both improve the quality of play and capitalize on the marketing power of the Sounders name. And while the Sounders U-23s attendance figures improved over previous Tides seasons, they didn’t exactly blow anybody away, except for the game in Tumwater. Olympia provided the Sounders with their highest attended game of the season and showed that this area has the ability to support a high level soccer team.

Can a big crowd at a one off event be translated to a team that doesn’t have the Sounders name remains to be seen. But this was a watershed moment in the history of minor league sports in the Olympia area. No other team has ever drawn that well and then delivered the goods.

Sadly, 2013 won’t be the year that Olympia gets the chance to show that it is a soccer town with a permanent PDL or other semi-pro league team. But hopefully the Sounders U-23s will come back this summer and can draw like they did in 2012.

For photos of the game, see galleries here and here.

Lubin’s season ends; Sounders U23s head to Cali

20120715-232438.jpgThe Kitsap Pumas will not defend their title as PDL champs this season after a 2-1 playoff loss to the Portland Timbers U23s at Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Oregon reports The Pumas ended their season at 10-5-2

Saint Martin’s alum Zac Lubin won nine games for the Pumas this season and tied for second in the PDL with seven shutouts. Lubin, the keeper for the Saints’ GNAC conference championship team in 2009, finished his second season with the Pumas. Last season he appeared in just two games backing up current Seattle Sounders FC keeper Bryan Meredith before taking over in goal this season.

Representing the PDL’s Northwest Division in the western regionals will be the Timbers U23s and the team that called Tumwater Stadium home for one game this season, the Sounders U23s. The Sounders will face FC Tucson on Saturday in Ventura, California while the host Ventura County Fusion will try to take down the Timbers.

Saturday scoreboard: Sounders U23s delight; A’s, Cardinals, Brewers win; Reign hate Canada

Premier Development League soccer

Sounders U23 1, Portland Timbers U23 0

It took over 90 minutes, but the Sounders U23s broke through in added time with a Jamael Cox blast that scorched the Timbers’ Spencer Richey and sent the Tumwater Stadium crowd of primarily Sounders fans home very happy. Facundo Dipasquale, a 75th minute substitution for starter Sean Okoli, made the pass to the streaking Cox to setup the goal. Sounders keeper Doug Herrick had eight saves including two fantastic saves in a row midway through the second half on shots that looked like for sure goals for the Timbers.

For pictures, please see the previous post or visit the Oly Sports Facebook page.

Puget Sound Collegiate League baseball

Olympia Atheletics 3, West Olympia Linx 1
Hawks Prairie Cardinals 12, Nisqually Silvers 3
Tumwater Brewers 5, Lacey Saints 4

International Basketball League

Edmonton Energy 138, Olympia Reign 104

Sounders U23s photo gallery: It’s a Celebration

90 minutes in the books and time was running down on the Sounders U23s and Portland Timbers U23s Olympia debut. Tied at nil, the game threatened to be a wash and send the very good crowd at Tumwater Stadium home without anything to celebrate.  But then, out of nowhere and completely out of position, left back Jamael Cox received a header and streaked down the right side and uncorked a shot that beat the Timbers keeper and set off a jubilant celebration.  Minutes later, the celebration continued when the final whistle sounded and the Sounders U23s escaped with the 1:0 win. I was lucky enough to capture the header, shot and celebration…

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The loss moved the Sounders U23s into third place at 3-1-3 on the season while the Timbers U23s dropped their first game of the season but are still in first place at 5-1.

UPDATE: Now that I check the box score and my notes, that header may not have been the pass to Cox that setup the goal. Oh well, it’s such a nice shot, let’s just pretend that it was the assist.

Today (6/2): PSCL, Sounders U23s, M.I.A. Derby Girls, Buzz, racing

Good morning Olympia. Big sports day in the South Sound and it all kicks off with the season openers for the Puget Sound Collegiate League. The PSCL is a developmental wood bat baseball league featuring six teams and one traveling all-star team comprised of college baseball players from around the Northwest. In it’s third year, the league plays the majority of their games at the RAC and a handful of games at Saint Martin’s over the next two months. Today, the season gets underway at noon with a game between the Olympia Athletics and the West Olympia Lynx. At 5:00, the Nisqually Silvers take on the Hawks Prairie Cardinals and the Lacey Saints play the Tumwater Brewers at 7:30. Triple-header in Lacey!

The junior version of American soccer’s biggest and most bitter rivalry invades Tumwater this evening when the Sounders U23s host the Portland Timbers U23s at Tumwater Stadium. The Sounders are 2-1-3 on the season and are in fourth place in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division behind Washington Crossfire, the Kitsap Pumas and the first place and undefeated Timbers U23s. Portland is coming off a 2:1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps U23s yesterday afternoon in Portland. Tickets are still available at the gates for $10. Fist kick is at 6:00 PM. For more, read the Oly Sports series on the game here, here and here.

Tumwater also plays host to a brand new roller derby team tonight at Tumwater Indoor Sports. The M.I.A. Derby Girls host the Coffin County Slaughter Kittens of Kelso in just their second event. Doors open at 5:30 and the bout gets underway at 6:30. Tickets are $15 at the door and bring you ID for the beer garden, a feature of the M.I.A Derby Girls bouts that no other local roller derby team can offer.

The Olympia Library hosts author Buzz Bissinger tonight at 7:30. Bissinger is probably most famous for his book Friday Night Lights, the story of football in small town Texas that has been adapted for a movie and television series (though he has reservations about both). He has also authored Three Nights in August, a book about a three game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs and co-authored Shooting Stars with Lebron James. Bissinger is in town promoting his new book, Father’s Day and is an interesting, opinionated, noted crank and his talk tonight should not be missed.

And finally, for all you motorheads, racing season continues at South Sound Speedway. Tonight, the 3/8th oval hosts mini stocks, street stocks, legends and the always popular and my personal favorite, bump to pass. Racing starts at 6:30 and tickets are just $12 for adults.

Sounders/Timbers U23 week: Meet the Timbers U23s

When the Sounders U23s come to town on Saturday, they will be the home team, and Olympia is certainly Sounders country. But one of the big points of playing this Cascadia rivalry game in Tumwater is to capitalize on the proximity to the Portland area and attract Timbers fans. So let’s take a look at that Portland Timbers U23 squad that will invade Tumwater Stadium’s somewhat neutral field.

20120601-135729.jpgMark Sherrod Cam Vickers – Photo Credit:

The Sounders U23s will have their hands full with the Timbers U23s on Saturday night. The Timbers are 5-0 this season and lead the PDL’s Northwest Division in goals scored and have allowed just three goals in five games. The Timbers are coming off a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps U23s on Friday afternoon in front of a PDL record 8,174 fans (mostly kids) at Jeld-Wen Field.

The Timbers are led by forward Mark Sherrod. The redshirt junior from the University of Memphis has five goals and an assist in their first five games while Cam Vickers, who spent last season with the Tacoma Tide, has two goals and five assists. The Timbers can beat you in many different ways with seven other players registering goals and University of Washington keeper Spencer Richey has allowed just three goals.

The Timbers are coming off a fourth place finish in 2011, their worst record in their three full seasons in existence. In 2010 the Timbers went 20-0-0 and became the first unbeaten and untied team to win the PDL championship. The Timbers have been coached by Jim Rilatt since their inception and hold a 38-9-6 record all time.

The Timbers U23s’ potent attack faces the Sounders U23s Saturday night at Tumwater Stadium. Tickets for the junior level of the country’s most rabid rivalry are just $10 and can be purchased here or at the gates. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM.

Wednesday scoreboard: Sounders U23s draw at Cheney

Premier Development League soccer

Aodhan Quinn – Photo Credit: Chris Coulter/Sounders FC U23

Sounders FC U23 – 3, Vancouver Whitecaps U23 – 3 – More from

Goals by Luis Esteves, Aodhan Quinn and Sean Okoli put the Sounders U23s up 3:1 late into the game. But a 71st minute goal by Caleb Clarke and an 86th minute goal by Ben Fisk drew the Whitecaps U23s even and the two teams left the pitch with a Cascadia rivalry 3:3 draw in front of 712 fans at Cheney Stadium. It was the first soccer game played in 35 years at Cheney Stadium.

Next up for the Sounders U23s is another Cascadia rival, the Portland Timbers U23s at Tumwater Stadium on Saturday night. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased here or at the gate. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM.

Sounders/Timbers U23 week: Sounders vs. Whitecaps at Cheney tonight

Just three more days more days until the Sounders U23s take on the Timbers U23s at Tumwater Stadium. Today Oly Sports takes a look at the Sounders U23 squad who will be in action tonight just a short drive away at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium in the first soccer game played in the newly renovated stadium. The Sounders U23s open a week of Cascadia rivals when they face the Vancouver Whitecaps U23 at 6:00 PM.

Fernando Monge – Photo credit: Chris Coulter/

As part of the Seattle Sounders Youth Development Program, the Sounders U23 are coached by the program’s director, Darren Sawatzky. Sawatzky has brought home a whole host of local players that left the area for college including midfielder Fernando Monge, an Eastside Catholic alum that played in every game for national semifinalist UCLA, goalkeeper Doug Herrick, who recorded 10 shutouts en route to the elite eight with Saint Mary’s and Universty of Akron freshman All-American DeAndre Yedlin, also an O’Dea alum.

The Sounders have opened their inaugural season with two wins, one loss and two ties and are third in the PDL’s Northwest Division with eight points behind the undefeated Portland Timbers U23s and the defending PDL champion Kitsap Pumas. The Sounders opened the season with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps U23s in Burnaby. They suffered their worst loss to the Pumas in Bremerton on May 19th and played to a scoreless tie with the Victoria Highlanders in their only home game so far this season.

Monge leads the Sounders with three goals while former Sounders Academy and Highline Community College striker Darwin Jones, Akron’s Aodhan Quinn and Seattle University grad Sean Morris have each added one goal for the Sounders. Morris, a midfielder that works in the Seattle Sounders FC youth program, has been called up twice to the Sounders Reserves and has made appearances against the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA reserves.

One thing that is striking about the Sounders U23 roster is how many local players, including Sounders Academy players, have left the Northwest to play college soccer. The roster is dotted with University of Washington Huskies but the starting lineup is primarily composed of local players from colleges across the nation. Besides Monge, Herrick and Yedlin, the team includes Two Wake Forest Deamon Deacons – Sean Okoli of Federal Way and Anthony Arena of Kenmore, Bellevue’s Liam Kelly originally went to Creighton before transferring to the University of San Francisco, and Federal Way’s Troy Peterson – a sophomore at the College of Charleston.

DeAndre Yedlin – Photo credit: Chris Coulter/

Sounders FC U23 takes on Portland Timbers FC U23 on Saturday, June 2nd at Tumwater Stadium. Tickets for this historic Cascadia rivalry game are just $10 and can be purchased in advance here or at the gates. first kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM

Sounders/Timbers U23 week: The state of soccer in Olympia

We are just four days away from the Cascadia rivalry coming to town when the Sounders FC U23 take on the Portland Timbers U23 at Tumwater Stadium on Saturday night. All week Oly Sports will have previews and stories to help you get ready for the big game. Today, we look at what has changed since the PDL last came to town and the future of soccer in Olympia…

Two years ago the Tacoma Tide teamed up with Blackhills FC and moved their home game against the Abbotsford Mariners to Tumwater Stadium. Tide owner Mike Jennings took it as an opportunity to gauge the interest level of the Olympia area in soccer, to see if the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League, the fourth tier of American soccer and top amateur league, could be successful in Thurston County. Unfortunately, the game was poorly attended, as all Tacoma Tide games were. Neither the team nor Blackhills FC properly promoted the game and the Tide weren’t exactly a draw for the casual (or even hardcore) soccer fans in the area. Soccer at this level, it seemed, was dead for Olympia.

Two years later, Olympia gets a second chance when the Tacoma franchise returns to Tumwater Stadium albeit under very different circumstances. Most importantly this time, the Tide no longer exist. Following years of poor attendance and losing money, Jennings sold the team to two Pierce County businessmen, Lane Smith and Cliff McElroy. The new owners teamed up with the Seattle Sounders and moved the Tide under the umbrella of the Sounders Youth Development Program and changed the team’s name to Sounders FC U23.

So Saturday, when the PDL comes back to town, it doesn’t come back with just any team. It comes back sporting the name of the most popular franchise in American soccer today. And they don’t just play a random team from the Fraser Valley. With the Portland Timbers they bring the most rabid rivalry in all of American soccer to town. Whether that rivalry will trickle down to the junior members of the Sounders and Timbers franchises remains to be seen, but it won’t be your typical PDL match either way.

The game is another tryout for the Olympia area and a good crowd of both Sounders and Timbers fans will ensure that Olympia will see future PDL games. However, that doesn’t mean that Olympia will be getting their own PDL team any time soon regardless of how well the game is attended. The Sounders U23s own the rights to a PDL team in Thurston County and have made a commitment to stay in Pierce County. If anything, the U23s will abandon Pierce County in a few years to play at Starfire in Tukwilla where the Sounders youth program and their sister Sounders Women team are based. That will take an agreement with Washington Crossfire, who hold the rights to King County. But with Crossfire’s PDL team averaging less than 75 fans a game in Issaquah, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Where does that leave high level soccer in Olympia?

Olympia does have semi-pro soccer. Thurston County Premier FC has a semi-pro team that competes in the American National Soccer League but they are not spectator friendly and are practically a secret organization. There is no schedule of their games online, no roster and almost no information of any kind is available. It is hard to even acknowledge that they exist.

The optimist might look at the model being forged by Bellingham United. The Hammers play in the Pacific Coast Soccer League and have grown a solid following in their inaugural season. But Olympia would be a bit far flung for the otherwise British Columbia based PCSL and would require committed and competent ownership and management to be successful, a skill and requirement that nobody has demonstrated in this town yet at any level.

Sounders FC U23 takes on Portland Timbers FC U23 on Saturday, June 2nd at Tumwater Stadium. Tickets for this historic Cascadia rivalry game are just $10 and can be purchased in advance here or at the gates. first kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM

Sunday scoreboard: Dropkick Donnas Scandalized; Saints split again

Roller Derby

Port Scandalous 106, Dropick Donnas 103

The Oly Rollers’ Dropkick Donnas and the Port Scandalous Rollergirls were tied at 103 with just over a minute to play but Port Scandalous got the last three points of the bout to pull out a thrilling 106-103 win at Skateland on Sunday night. The Donnas were down by ten at halftime and eleven with 14 minutes to play before closing the gap to draw even.

College baseball

Saint Martin’s 1, MSU Billings 0
MSU Billings 1, Saint Martin’s 0 – More from

Offense was scarce at Dehler Park in Billings on Sunday when the two teams combined for just two runs total over 16 innings, the lowest scoring doubleheader in GNAC history. In game one, the Saints’ Tommy Deboer gave up just four hits and struck out six Yellowjackets in eight scoreless innings of work. Travis Jones’ double in the top of the ninth inning drove in Mario Sanelli for the only run of the game and Zach Carter worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to preserve the win for the Saints.

In game two, Kaleb Wilson and Josh Moss combined to give up one run on four hits for the Saints but were out dueled by Matt Eames’ two hit, seven inning complete game shutout. With the weekend split, the Saints are now 11-25 overall and 7-11 in GNAC play.

Men’s soccer

Sounders U23s 3, Gonzaga University 2

Capital High School’s Josh Phillips, a sophomore defender for Gonzaga, is pictured above clearing the ball for the Zags.

Though not officially an Olympia team, the Sounders U23s will play the Portland Timbers U23s in Tumwater on June 2nd and I am covering the team this season for You can read my quick and easy recap here and see more photos from the game on the Oly Sports Facebook page.

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