Key match in title race pits Shadow versus unbeaten league-leaders
SPOKANE SHADOW NEWS RELEASE -- Friday, June 20, 2014
In a pivotal match in the Evergreen Premier League championship hopes for the Spokane (5-2-1), the Shadow play host to South Sound FC (6-0-1) Saturday night at Spokane Falls CC Stadium. Game time is set for 7:00 with family-friendly tailgating beginning at 5:00 pm.
With just three points separating the Shadow, tied for third, and the league-leading Shock, Saturday’s match is the start of a three-game series that will play a large role in determining the league’s first championship. After facing South Sound, whose only blemish was at the hands of Spokane, the Shadow play host to second-place Vancouver July 6 followed by a road trip to face the Victory again just days later on July 10. Meanwhile, the Shock are kicking off a busy slate with seven games in five weeks, all but two on the road.
“Number one team in the league coming into town so for us its about making sure we are sharp and tuned in,” said head coach Chad Brown. “To be honest, in my mind nothing changes – I don’t care if it’s the first place team or the last place team. For me: we play to our standard, and as long as we do that I am happy regardless of the result. But obviously, I think if we do that, more often than not we’ve been on the successful end.
The Shadow head into the match coming off a fantastic 2-0 shutout performance on the road against Bellingham, the league’s top scoring club that was also coming off an 8-goal performance, to avenge the team’s season opening loss to the Hammers. Since the Shadow’s two losses at home to open the campaign, the Shadow are unbeaten in the last six games and have allowed only four goals over the span.
“All around we are playing well defensively. We are really starting to work well as a group as we get to know how each other play,” said Shadow and Whitworth defender Colin Shockman. “We are keeping our defensive shape and communicating very well and we all feel confident that each and every player will do their jobs. Its hard for a group of guys who don't know each other very well to come together like this, but I think we've reached that point where we have hit our stride and we will only grow as a team going forward.”
“The goal felt great. It always feels good to score a goal in an important game like that,” he added about scoring in last week’s victory. “It's always special for a defender when they score, we don't get very many opportunities. It was a big win against a good team on the road that helps us move closer to the top of the table. They're the type of games that a player always remembers.”
The only points South Sound has dropped on the campaign came at the hands of the Shadow, who found a late goal from Nick Hamer to earn a 1-1 draw in the second of back-to-back games on their first road trip of the season.
About the Opposition: South Sound FC
South Sound is the league’s top team defensively having allowed just five goals through seven games thus far for their unbeaten 6-0-1 record. With the club also fielding a U23 team for the USASA national cup, the team recently bolstered its EPLWA squad with the addition of former MLS player and Tacoma native Joey Gjertsen, who has scored three goals in their last three games. Those games were at home and Gjertsen is not on the team’s roster for the trip to Spokane. Daniel Gray is the only other player on the squad with multiple goals, boasting three for the season.
Shadow Game Day Pool
Matt Beaulaurier… Ferris HS
Matt Bray… Whitworth University / Ferris HS
Keane Ellis… Gonzaga University
Sam Engle… Whitworth University
Trevan Estrellado… Cheney HS
Andrew Glaeser… No. Illinois Univ / Oregon State / Walla Walla HS
Aaron Jeffery… Gonzaga University
Graison Le… Gonzaga University / Coeur d’Alene HS
Devin Leon… CC Spokane
Karl Muelheims… Whitworth University / St George’s HS
Timmy Mueller… Post Falls HS
Andrew Newman… Gonzaga University
Pete Peterson… Gonzaga University / Central Valley HS
Mike Ramos… Seattle University / University HS
Colin Shockman… Whitworth University / Mead HS
Adam Talley… North Idaho College / East Valley HS
Juan Valderrama… University of Great Falls
Jacob Weaver… Northwest University / Northwest Christian HS
Micah Weller… Cheney HS
Derek Zimmerman… St Mary’s / Tri-Cities Prep
In the Media - Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman's Jim Allen wrote up a pair of stories previewing the big game Saturday. One was a look at the Shadow at the midway point of the campaign and the other was a feature on midfielder Mike Ramos. Check them out: Shadow hitting midseason stride - Shadow striker Mike Ramos shows you can go home again
Coach Brown presents CC Spokane Finishing Camp
Shadow head coach Chad Brown will be conducting the CC Spokane Finishing Camp July 14-17 at Spokane Community College. Coach Brown has six years of professional playing experience, eight years of college coaching experience and over 15 years of youth development coaching experience that includes regional and national team players as well as professional players. He will share all of that with players through the camp, which will focus on first touch, movement with and without the ball, timing of runs and decision making along with plenty of shooting and crossing from 9:00-11:00 am each day. For ages 7-13 and cost is $100 (discounts for teams and siblings available). Personal and small group training is also available. Contact Chad for registration details at Chad.Brown@spokanefalls.edu
EPLWA This Week
Around the league: With about five weeks left, the aforementioned title race is the big topic. The high scoring rate continued again though last week with 14 goals in four games. One thing that changed however with the clean sheet rate as three of the four were shutout performances. There were previously only eight through the first 30 games.
This week there are three games on Saturday. In addition to the match in Spokane, Yakima hosts Vancouver and WestSound visits Wenatchee. South Sound departs Spokane to visit Seattle in the league’s lone game Sunday. Standings & Stat Leaders [+]
For further news updates from around the league, check out State of the EPLWA [+]
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Photos: Lower - Colin Shockman (both by Erik Smith Photography)