Sports

Local soccer rivalry begins

Andrew Escalante, of Arlington Aviators FC, advances the ball down the field during a rivalry game against the Marysville Ruckus on Dec. 15. - Lauren Salcedo
Andrew Escalante, of Arlington Aviators FC, advances the ball down the field during a rivalry game against the Marysville Ruckus on Dec. 15.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

MARYSVILLE — A new local rivalry is developing in Arlington and Marysville, but this time it isn’t over high school sports — it’s semi-professional indoor soccer.

Marysville Indoor Sports and Arlington’s Soccer First Indoor Sports arenas both host semi-pro soccer teams — the Ruckus FC in Marysville and the Aviators FC in Arlington. The teams played their first game against one another on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m., at Marysville Indoor Sports to a completely packed building, as fans of both teams made their presence known.

Both the Ruckus and the Aviators are part of the Premier Arena Soccer League’s Northwest division, with seasons beginning in December.

“I had 35 guys tryout this year,” said Kim McMullan, who co-owns Marysville Indoor Sports with her boyfriend Craig Otto. “We have guys playing for us from Ferndale, Kitsap County and Seattle.”

Marysville Indoor Sports was opened last year and started a semi-pro team immediately, while Soccer First in Arlington has been around for years but just started their team this season.

“I’ve been the owner of this business for six years, and every year the league gives me a phone call to see if I want to open a team,” said Phil Bartlow, owner of Soccer First. “I kept saying no, because I felt that my facility is smaller than most. But last year Marysville put in a team and their arena is smaller than mine, so my excuse didn’t really work anymore.”

A number of local players urged Bartlow to start a team as well, so they held open training in August and tryouts in October.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said Bartlow. “We’re still new but we are trying to put out the most competitive team we can.”

The distance between both arenas is only 5.9 miles, an issue that stirred up a lot of debate about whether the teams are too close and if the proximity is damaging to player turnout and sponsor opportunities.

“In the PASL, the rule used to be that you can’t have another team within a certain distance of us, but they pushed to have a team only 5.9 miles away,” said McMullan. “Some of their players used to play for Ruckus so it’s a little tense.”

The Ruckus have won one game and lost two so far this year, opening their season with a 10-9 loss to the Oregon Blacktails on Dec. 1. They suffered a 9-2 loss to the Kitsap Pumas on Dec. 8.

The Aviators lost their first game to Snohomish in a rough 10-1 defeat. Their second game was a victory at home, with a 6-5 win over the Bellingham Rapids, two-time defending champions.

“That was a big deal for us,” said Bartlow.

In the rivalry game against the Aviators, the Ruckus pulled out a 9-8 victory, scoring in the last nine seconds of the fourth quarter.

“That was disappointing because we had the lead going in to the end and couldn’t hold on to it,” said Bartlow.

McMullan was excited over the win, while Otto was partially responsible for it — he’s the goal keeper for the Ruckus.

“This was really a great game,” said McMullan.

Both teams are hoping that despite the rivalry, the community will support local soccer.

“Support definitely helps when we have two people cheering for us instead of against us,” said Bartlow.

Ruckus play their next game away against the Tumwater Pioneers at Tumwater Indoor Sports on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. The Aviators will play a home game against the Snohomish Skyhawks on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.

For more information about the league or for schedules visit www.arenaleague.com.

BY LAUREN SALCEDO

lsalcedo@arlingtontimes.com

MARYSVILLE — A new local rivalry is developing in Arlington and Marysville, but this time it isn’t over high school sports — it’s semi-professional indoor soccer.

Marysville Indoor Sports and Arlington’s Soccer First Indoor Sports arenas both host semi-pro soccer teams — the Ruckus FC in Marysville and the Aviators FC in Arlington. The teams played their first game against one another on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m., at Marysville Indoor Sports to a completely packed building, as fans of both teams made their presence known.

Both the Ruckus and the Aviators are part of the Premier Arena Soccer League’s Northwest division, with seasons beginning in December.

“I had 35 guys tryout this year,” said Kim McMullan, who co-owns Marysville Indoor Sports with her boyfriend Craig Otto. “We have guys playing for us from Ferndale, Kitsap County and Seattle.”

Marysville Indoor Sports was opened last year and started a semi-pro team immediately, while Soccer First in Arlington has been around for years but just started their team this season.

“I’ve been the owner of this business for six years, and every year the league gives me a phone call to see if I want to open a team,” said Phil Bartlow, owner of Soccer First. “I kept saying no, because I felt that my facility is smaller than most. But last year Marysville put in a team and their arena is smaller than mine, so my excuse didn’t really work anymore.”

A number of local players urged Bartlow to start a team as well, so they held open training in August and tryouts in October.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said Bartlow. “We’re still new but we are trying to put out the most competitive team we can.”

The distance between both arenas is only 5.9 miles, an issue that stirred up a lot of debate about whether the teams are too close and if the proximity is damaging to player turnout and sponsor opportunities.

“In the PASL, the rule used to be that you can’t have another team within a certain distance of us, but they pushed to have a team only 5.9 miles away,” said McMullan. “Some of their players used to play for Ruckus so it’s a little tense.”

The Ruckus have won one game and lost two so far this year, opening their season with a 10-9 loss to the Oregon Blacktails on Dec. 1. They suffered a 9-2 loss to the Kitsap Pumas on Dec. 8.

The Aviators lost their first game to Snohomish in a rough 10-1 defeat. Their second game was a victory at home, with a 6-5 win over the Bellingham Rapids, two-time defending champions.

“That was a big deal for us,” said Bartlow.

In the rivalry game against the Aviators, the Ruckus pulled out a 9-8 victory, scoring in the last nine seconds of the fourth quarter.

“That was disappointing because we had the lead going in to the end and couldn’t hold on to it,” said Bartlow.

McMullan was excited over the win, while Otto was partially responsible for it — he’s the goal keeper for the Ruckus.

“This was really a great game,” said McMullan.

Both teams are hoping that despite the rivalry, the community will support local soccer.

“Support definitely helps when we have two people cheering for us instead of against us,” said Bartlow.

Ruckus play their next game away against the Tumwater Pioneers at Tumwater Indoor Sports on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. The Aviators will play a home game against the Snohomish Skyhawks on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.

For more information about the league or for schedules visit www.arenaleague.com.

 

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