SMOKEY POINT, WA— The Snohomish County FC Steelheads made a big splash by winning the Western Washington Premier League in 2019. Now they are working with other league clubs during the off season to make 2020 the best it can be.
“Last year at this time we were just accepted into the league,” remembers Steelheads General Manager David Falk. “This year we are full members, coming off of a highly competitive debut season.” It’s a big difference for the Steelheads, who are active participants in discussions and league decision-making this go-round. “We know our fellow club operators better now and we are enjoying being able to have input and vote on league matters,” Falk says.
The Steelheads were represented by Falk at the recent WWPL meetings in Gig Harbor. Out of those discussions came a series of league announcements. In 2020 the WWPL will consist of a First Division and a Second Division, both planned to have six clubs each. Grays Harbor Gulls will compete in the First Division after Tacoma Narrows opted to apply to the Evergreen Premier League. The promotion and relegation set-up will see the last place club in D1 go down and the first place club in D2 go up.
Tougher to repeat
“The league is shaping up to be much more competitive for us in 2020,” says Falk. “4 of our 7 league wins this year came over clubs we won’t face in 2020.” The Fish won 3 and drew 2 against the 5 clubs slated to be with them in the top tier next year. Now Snohomish will see those 5 clubs twice each (home and away) to make up their 10-match league season.
2020 WWPL First Division expected participants: Snohomish County, Crossfire Redmond, Federal Way FC, Grays Harbor FC, Kirkland FC, Nido Aguila Seattle.
Next year’s Friendlies
The Steelheads are open to playing clubs for around the region in 2020. Falk says initial contacts have already been made. “We are talking with Evergreen Premier League clubs, local colleges and even a Canadian team,” he says. “It’s also possible that a Wenatchee-based club may travel over for a rematch from last year’s pre-season.”