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Steelheads make WISL debut Saturday night against Oly Town at Snohomish Sports Dome
SNOHOMISH, WA—The Snohomish County FC Steelheads will play their first ever Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) regular season match when they host the Oly Town Artesians on Saturday November 6 at 7 :30 PM at the Snohomish Sports Dome.
The Artesians and Steelheads both have teams indoors and outdoors but the two clubs have never played each other before. Oly Town was founded as an indoor side in the WISL in 2014 and later joined outdoors in the EPLWA. The Artesians recently changed operating groups.
The WISL Returns
The Steelheads are diving into indoor soccer after finishing second outdoors this year in the WWPL. “Preparing for the season has been fast and furious,” says Indoor Head Coach Jim Kessler. “We have a lot of new faces and few familiar ones. It is now a matter of teaching indoor strategy while trying to get in shape. Roster development has been as fluid as it can be at this point of the season and we are getting close.”
Lots Of New Guys
The roster is a mix of a few outdoor Steelheads, some Skyhawks, and a group of new guys. The Steelheads also have a list of guys battling up from the reserve squad. The challenge is syncing it all together in a league that is famous for tough opponents. “The team knows their biggest hurdle for the year is getting on the same age and being ready for our first game,” Kessler says. “While some of the team has played together in the past, we have people in new roles and tactics to learn.”
Some of the guys currently in training indoors
|Alexis Ramos||Gabriel Macias-Neri|
|Andrew Escalante||Glenn Paden|
|Bryan Fakkema||Hector Rodriguez|
|Bryce Coffin||Jeremy Maldonado|
|Carlos Rodriguez||Jordan Correa|
|Cesar Zavalza||Mike Sitzmann|
|Cristiano Whitaker||Oliver Avila|
|Devin Shull||Trevor Davoren|
|Dorian Lair||Tye Hastings|
|Drew Ferris||Tyler Sharp|
The Snohomish Skyhawks have played indoors for nearly 20 years but recently announced they were suspending operations. Kessler and SnoCo FC General Manager Dorian Lair have worked to bring Skyhawks players over to the Steelheads, in a sense uniting Snohomish for the upcoming season. As part of that effort Vasco Rubio joins the Fish as an assistant coach.
On October 30 the club held an intrasquad scrimmage at the Snohomish Sports Dome. The Steelheads WISL roster played as a unit against a team made up of reserves, coaches and indoor alumni. The WISL Fish rolled to a 21-1 win. The chance to play together is valuable. The league opponents will present entirely different challenges.
Home Sweet Dome
General Manager Lair and the staff at the Dome have been getting ready for the big debut. There is a new Steelheads logo on the wall. One greets fans on the floor as they enter. There are car flags, new scarves and other gear to purchase in support of the team. Just as the club is working to build a competitive team on the pitch, they are also looking to build a following in the stands.
Tickets to the match are $10 at the door. The Dome accepts cash, card and various electronic payments. Along with Steelheads souvenirs the Dome has drinks and snacks. Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant has full dinners and shares the building with the Dome.
Finally Time For Indoor Fish
After nearly 2 years of Covid 19 delays, Kessler is happy this moment is finally arriving. “We, as a group, are just looking forward to being able to create our brand, get back to playing, and entertain our fans. We have all been craving the excitement of WISL indoor and can’t wait to put our team to the test.”
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