WENATCHEE, WA—Wenatchee Valley All-Stars FC made an impression with their first-ever Western Washington Premier League (WWPL) match. Their 2-0 win at Kirkland FC back on March 27 was the birth of a new era for elite men’s soccer in Apple Valley. Since then the schedule has had them idle.
The Longest Drive
That will change when they travel for their longest away match of the season on April 25 against the Grays Harbor Gulls in Aberdeen. It’s over 4 hours one way and a 573-mile round trip.
The All-Stars are using their long break to prepare for the rest of their debut season in the WWPL.
“We have two long breaks after the opener and we are taking advantage of it to get into game fitness and get our feet back after a long pandemic with no competition,” says Wenatchee Vice President Mauricio Sanchez. “I’m glad we reached a pandemic phase that allows us to start training as a team. We have a few friendlies scheduled for the time off that should allow us to get back into a good rhythm.”
1-0-0 in the Table for a Month
If you are going to have a long break, no better way to do it than with a big victory. Wenatchee have been near the top of the early table with that lone win even as other clubs rack up matches. “We anxiously waited for the WWPL opener, we knew the expectation and pressure we had being back in competition and being the new member of the WWPL,” Mauricio says. “As a team we wanted to make a statement and start with the right foot. Obviously the final score did not reflect the chances we created or how satisfied I was with how the team played; nothing like a 5-0 from other WWPL clubs that have been training for months now but I was very happy for the win and shutout on the road.”
“Our first game back in state competition was more of a test to see where we stand as a team; I say ‘back’ because we are no strangers to state play. We like to think we took a long vacation and now we are back to business.”
Getting Ready for Youth
Wenatchee has a checklist to accomplish whether they are playing matches or on a schedule break. Sanchez is pacing his club for the long haul. “Our player pool continues to grow as college players start getting released and high school players shift back and forth between school ball and us. The 2002-2005 years are very promising around Central Washington and we want to give those players the opportunity to train with us, to gain some experience. Don’t be surprised to see a 14, 15, or 16 year old making some appearances this season. It’s a great mix of experienced players like Adrian Espinoza, Eleazar Galvan, Olegario “Gallo” Orozco, these players are a solid foundation and true leaders to what we are trying to accomplish as club and organization. We are excited and doing our part to put up a good show in any venue we step on.”