Soccer clubs bring collegiate talent
June 3, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Issaquah residents won’t have to go far this summer to watch some top-shelf soccer talent from across the region and world.
Issaquah High School is the primary home stadium for the Puget Sound Gunners FC and ISC Gunners FC, men’s and women’s teams that develop elite college-aged players with professional aspirations.
“This will allow fans to witness a standard of college players live and in the flesh,” the teams’ general manager Gwynne Williams said.
The men’s team, Puget Sound Gunners FC, plays in the Premier Development League, a proven developmental leader in North American soccer’s evolving tiered structure.
It is an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all Major League Soccer draftees having PDL experience.
The team features athletes from across the Northwest region and beyond, including players from the University of Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Western Washington University and Harvard University.
Last year, the Puget Sound Gunners played as the North Sound SeaWolves, before the team partnered with the Issaquah Soccer Club and moved operations from Edmonds to Issaquah. The team is already well into its season, compiling a 1-2-1 record.
The men’s first win as the Gunners came from a May 25 road game against the Seattle Sounders FC U-23, a development platform for the local Major League Soccer team.
“It feels good,” head coach Jimmy Ball said after the win. “I’m really pleased with our start. I think we’re very, very hard to beat, and the lads are improving every single day.”
The ISC Gunners FC, also coached by Ball, play in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The squad serves as a feeder team for the Seattle Reign FC, a professional women’s soccer team.
The team played its first game of the season May 31, defeating the Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club Diamonds, 1-0.
If you go
Puget Sound Gunners
7 p.m. June 4
ISC Gunners FC vs. Fuerza FC
“They were the better team,” Williams said. “They scored in the 53rd minute by captain Erin Vaughn, a current Welsh international, who’s played 19 times for the Welsh international team.”
The teams are both getting ready to host home games, and they want the entire Issaquah community to know it’s invited.
The Puget Sound Gunners play at Issaquah High School, 700 Second Ave. S.E., 7 p.m. June 4, when they host the Kitsap Pumas. The June 4 game is a historic one for the Gunners. It’s the organization’s first game in the city.
In honor of the milestone, fans that bring this Issaquah Press article to the June 4 game will receive free admission. The offer is valid only for this game, and is restricted to one per person. Also, anyone wearing any club soccer jersey will get in for free. That’s good for all Eastside Youth Soccer Association programs.
“After three road games, it will be nice to play at home in front of our fans,” said Puget Sound Gunners owner and assistant coach Alex Silva. “It’s a big day for the Issaquah community to finally have a minor league team in town. I invite everyone to come and bring family and friends.”
The ISC Gunners FC will host the same free-admission promotion for their 4 p.m. June 9 game at Mount Si High School, 8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E.
Single-game ticket prices for both teams are $10 for adults and $5 for youths. Fans younger than seven get in free to all games.