Gala FC goal is winning now while raising future Steelheads

Juan Figueroa, Mustafa Bilal and Dylan Schoenfelder of Gala FC Pro Focus Academy.

MILL CREEK, WA—Gala Football Club of Mill Creek are winners in the youth game in tournaments and the Puget Sound Premier League. The club was founded by Daghan Kesim back in 2013 and prides itself on providing opportunities for players that might not get them elsewhere.

The debut of the Gala FC Men in the Western Washington Premier League Second Division (WWPL 2) in 2021 is an outgrowth of Kesim’s role as Technical Director of Soccer and Head Coach of the Snohomish County FC Steelheads of the WWPL First Division. The two clubs have helped each other from the very start. Now there is an official channel for players to move from youth to adult play under Kesim’s system, taught at both clubs.

Already Supplying Fish

Gala FC Pro Focus Academy is already supplying players for the Steelheads. The new longer season in the WWPL means college players will miss matches at the beginning and end due to school training requirements. The Steelheads have been able to field solid 18-man rosters by bringing guys over from Gala to play in the WWPL. Even after Gala’s Second Division debut in the WWPL 2, they still are sharing players with the Fish.

Antonio Hernandez-Rodriguez (front) and Josh Green.

Winning Is Always The Goal

Dagi Kesim knows the relationship between Gala FC Men and the Steelheads is directed towards moving players up, but he also wants to establish Gala’s name in the adult game. “We have talented players who can hold their own for Gala,” he says, “but ultimately we want some of them to move up to the Steelheads to build the future of the Fish. We want everyone to know Gala also is a tough team to beat and more than a reserve team.”

Parker Van Driel plays for both Gala FC and the Steelheads most weekends. He’s scored for both teams in 2021.

Big Win At Harbor Force

Gala took home a big 6-0 win in a torrential downpour on June 5 at Harbor Force 2. Gala goals were scored by Rofaiel Dawood (2), Fabian Panduro, Yawo Siatitse, Parker Van Driel and Nik Antoun. Check out a gallery from that match here. The video above contains some highlights. The result raised Gala’s record to 2-1-3 (W-D-L) in the WWPL 2. See scores on the schedule page.

Gala’s next home match is on Sunday June 27 at 1 PM at Dick Cardinal Stadium against WWPL 2 title chasers Northern Peninsula FC.

Starting 11 for recent win at Harbor Force 2. BACK ROW, L-R: Dylan Schoenfelder, Juan Figueroa, Alexis Viteri, Antonio Hernandez-Rodriguez, Ajeet Dhaliwal, Parker Van Driel. FRONT ROW: Ahmed Ahmed, Michael Green, Fabian Panduro, Devin Sutomo.

Checking In With The Gala FC Player Pool

Nearly 40 players are in the pool right now for Gala FC Pro Focus Academy. They range from guys still in high school to guys who are trying to return to playing fitness after previously featuring with the Fish. Then there are a group of players who have already helped the Steelheads with appearances in 2021. See the pool below. Names in bold have played in the WWPL First Division with SnoCo FC at some point in 2021, or been named to the Steelheads roster for a league match.

Ajeet Dhaliwal

Alexis Reggis Viteri Bohorquez

Alex Ortega-Polo

Andre Hale

Amadou Jadama

Berhane Kini

Devin Sutomo

Dylan Schoenfelder

Guillaume Souchet

Isaac Rodriguez

Jargal Saikhan

Jason Isaksen

Josh Green

Juan Castillo

Juan Figueroa

Kevin Garnica

La’akea Yoshida

Mahmoud Farajallah

Mamudou Fofana

Parker Van Driel

Nik Antoun

Rofaiel Dawood

Thomas Rowley

Taras McCurdie

Ahmed Elsir

Emilio Mora

Ramon Mata Rodriguez

Rogelio Salgado

Ibrahima Niang

Wataru Muto

Fabian Panduro

Antonio Hernandez-Rodriguez

Alfredo Llamas

Mustafa Bilal

Ibrahima Drame

Yawo Siatitse

Ahmed Ahmed

Henry Kieneker

Brothers In The Game

2021 was a long time coming for Gala FC Men, but it also was ‘rushed’ as clubs scrambled to pull together the details in the shadow of Covid-19. The Steelheads are learning what Gala can bring to the First Team, and Gala are keen to establish the link but also build on their own identity. “They are brothers of the Steelheads,” Kesim says. “We want to provide top players to the Steelheads while keeping Gala a solid team as well. Two strong teams is the goal. Gala already have provided the current Steelheads with many former Gala players…and they are current starters and game changers.”

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