WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley will have a new semi-pro soccer team to root for this spring.
The Evergreen Premier League, a startup state-wide semi-pro league, announced Monday it accepted Wenatchee United FC’s membership application. The Wenatchee team is the third program to join the ranks of the Evergreen Premier League, following the additions of Bellingham and Tacoma squads.
“We’re really excited about it,” Evergreen Premier League coordinator David Falk said in a phone interview. “And they (Wenatchee) are nervous because they suddenly realize they have a lot to do. But it’s a good nervous.”
Team owners plan to enlist talent from the North Central Washington area.
“The greater Wenatchee area has a big outdoor soccer community filled with talented players that have been waiting for a long time to root for and play in a higher level of soccer,” Javier Reyna, one of owner’s of the new club said in a press release. “It means a lot to the community to be able to see and play against the best players from around the rest of Washington. (Wenatchee United FC) will be working with youth clubs, adult clubs and schools to help raise the level of soccer in the Valley.”
Falk said early on the league was interested in planting a team in the Wenatchee Valley area and Wenatchee United owners made a concerted effort to display their desire to join the league as well.
Wenatchee United was one of the first teams to apply for a team and had already done plenty of leg work to show they were serious early on, Falk said.
“It was clear when they submitted their first series of things, they meant business,” Falk said. “And their references were pretty much the best of any club we’ve had so far. … We were impressed right away.”
Falk said the Evergreen Premier League had a list of four prospective members, which included Wenatchee, it felt was ready to start a club. It is the first Evergreen Premier League program east of the Cascades.
The Evergreen Premier League, which plans to have at least 10 teams for the inaugural season in May 2014, will announce a handful of additional programs’ applications it has accepted in the coming days.
Falk said there will be a club in the Tri-Cities and hopes to have one in Spokane as well. He said Wenatchee United is the “foundation club” for the east side of the mountains.