Wenatchee goalkeeper Benham-Marin a good fit in Valley

WENATCHEE, WA— Wenatchee United FC had their goalkeeping plans under control with native son Angel Guerra ready to stand tall in between the posts. Guerra’s injury meant those plans had to change. Mid-year the Capitals are calling upon a guy from across the Idaho border, and Colin Benham-Marin has answered with consecutive shut outs as WUFC keeps climbing up the EPLWA table.

Colin Benham-Marin is the first goalkeeper to record back-to-back shut outs in the EPLWA. (Kelly Gillin)
Colin Benham-Marin is the first goalkeeper to record back-to-back shut outs in the EPLWA. (Kelly Gillin)

“I heard about this new elite league in Washington (EPLWA) through Darren Sawatzky, the Sounders U-23 coach after a tryout with them,” Colin tells EPLWA.com. “He recommended that it would be a good way to get more games and a better level of playing experience than I could get in Idaho under my belt. Specifically, I first heard about WUFC through a friend and former club teammate who was considering trying out for the club as well. I happened to be in Washington for a PDL tryout around the same time as WUFC tryouts and so I attended them and was asked to be on the team. Coach (John) Wright was very kind and welcoming to me and I was interested in working and learning from the goalkeeper coaches, one of which played professionally in Brazil and now coaches professionally. It was a good fit.”

375-wufcBenham-Marin spent five years the with College of Idaho Coyotes. His career in soccer is filled with personal highlights at all levels. “During club it was the opportunity to travel to different parts of the U.S. to play competitively at various showcases and tournaments. A specific highlight would be winning the State Cup Championship in 2009 as well as pulling good results in other competitions. I traveled almost 4 hours round trip from my home in McCall, Idaho to Boise two to three times a week to practice and play games with my club team. Having that chance to be on a good team and travel with such a quality bunch of kids who were all friends was a highlight in itself.”

Then came the Coyotes. “In college my favorite highlight would be making it to our conference semi-final my senior year when we were not even supposed to do well that season. We ended up losing the game on a golden-goal in double overtime, but it was an epic game under the lights and I played really, well shutting out the opposition for 119 minutes. It was a bittersweet way to end my college career but a highlight. Also, tying the number one team and biggest rivals in our conference on their senior night, at their home (my junior year) was a personal highlight. I recorded 14 saves, their one goal coming from an own goal off of my center back.”

In the middle of their season the Capitals have turned to Colin, and he has responded with back-to-back shut outs, becoming the first goalkeeper to accomplish that feat in EPLWA history. “I have to give credit to my teammates and defense. I don’t think getting a shutout is possible without teamwork. They do their job and I do mine and when everyone is gelling and working hard together we can keep the ball out of the net.”


United started slowly, but now they seem to be building chemistry. Colin has his personal approach to being a good goalkeeper and member of a defense. “Communication is a key element to shutting down other teams offensively and I make sure I am always doing that with my back line and that they are communicating to each other as well as myself. Personally, I make sure I work hard and train as much as possible with my goalkeeper coaches Javier Reyna and Cesar Ceppi who have kept me sharp and progressing forward. As a goalkeeper, I think it is important to be relaxed but focused. You also need a certain element of fearlessness and a short-term memory on the field because some days you’re going to get scored on, make mistakes and you have to be able to learn from those mistakes and let them go. I enjoy every minute of both training or games, the good and the bad, while I’m playing the beautiful game. I like to have fun and take the game as it comes to me while having the best seat in the house as the game unfolds before me.”

It can’t be all soccer, all of the time. Or can it? “I have been spending most of my time to watching as many World Cup matches as I can,” Colin admits. “Other than that I spend my time reading, teaching myself to play the Ukulele, hiking/biking, studying the game, being with friends and working out. I also just began working part-time at a local restaurant. I am also planning on going to graduate school for Physical Therapy sometime in the future and I’m involved with that process.”



Colin Benham-Marin gets hugs from his defense after the Capitals shut out Yakima two weeks ago. (Tracie Fowler photos)
Colin Benham-Marin gets hugs from his defense after the Capitals shut out Yakima two weeks ago. (Tracie Fowler photos)

EPLWA Logo-06-500The Greater Wenatchee Valley is getting acquainted with statewide men’s adult play. It’s a historic beginning and Colin is aware of that. “Being a part of something new and historic in the Wenatchee Valley and getting to play with all of these passionate, talented homegrown players. Watching our team grow, develop, achieve goals and progress with each game as well as overcome of adversity and doubt has been great. Coming from a state where there is no elite adult/semi-pro football and very few opportunities at the collegiate level the EPLWA has been great.The competition has been at a very high level and has most definitely challenged me and helped improve my game. I am very grateful to be a part of it. It provides a great opportunity for collegiate players to get quality games and competition in between their seasons.”

The EPLWA came along just at the right time for Benham-Marin. “I think the EPLWA potentially can give players who are not fortunate enough to go directly to the PDL, USL, MLS, ect. but want to pursue football at the next level (post-collegiate), a chance or stepping stone to get to seen by the clubs at higher levels while getting more playing time/experience. I am so happy to see the sport progressing as it is in the USA, especially with the start-up leagues like this one that provide different divisions of play like you see in many countries outside of ours. To be a part of it in its inaugural season is special and I feel blessed to be able to contribute to the growth of football alongside these talented players.”


The following partners and sponsors are crucial to growing the Evergreen Premier League. Please visit their websites! Want to connect with the EPLWA or one of our clubs? Contact us at: EPLWA2014@gmail.com.





















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