The Evergreen Premier League has completed its second week of play with all eight clubs in action. 25 goals were scored and there were numerous saves, take-aways, tackles, moments of admirable teamwork and individual stand-out plays.
Two players are honored this week for their performances, which elevated them above the crowd and into the books as our second-ever Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Adam Talley (Spokane Shadow, Offense) and Antonio Gonzalez (Yakima United FC, Defense) are this week’s choices. As a part of this recognition both will receive unique, custom EPLWA socks designed especially for the league by Rock’em Apparel.
The May 3rd Players of the Week both come from clubs that had great days. Adam Talley was part of a Spokane Shadow unit that scored six goals and forced two own goals in an 8-2 rout at Wenatchee. Antonio Gonzalez was part of a defensive group that recorded a shutout as Yakima United FC won 4-0 at Bellingham United.
OFFENSE: Adam Talley (midfield / forward) scored five goals for the Spokane Shadow in their 2014 champioship season. On Sunday night May 3rd in Wenatchee he scored in the 10th and 61st (penalty kick) to help his team win big. It was more than the two goals, though. After falling behind early the Shadow needed a boost and they got one in Talley’s tenth-minute equalizer. Adam’s (Newman Lake, WA / East Valley High School) runs caused the Wenatchee defense all sorts of problems. He was able to draw multiple markers, freeing up his teammates to do their thing. Sam Engle used the space in part to score two goals of his own. Talley is no stranger to hardwork making for big success. He was named the 2014 NWAC Baden Athlete of the Year for Men’s Soccer as he scored 20 goals for North Idaho College. Next stop: Western Washington University in Bellingham. Talley will join the Vikings in the GNAC this fall as a junior.
Talley credits his EPLWA time for helping launch his scoring prowess. “I think what’s really helped me the most (is) playing for the Spokane Shadow,” Talley told the Spokesman-Review. “I (am) playing against guys that (are) much older than me. Guys in their late 20s and even early 30s. They (are) all bigger and stronger, and I (am) able to hold my own.”
DEFENSE: The first shutout of 2015 didn’t happen because of just one man but Antonio Gonzalez was the guy at the center of the storm who made some pretty sweet saves to secure the clean sheet for Yakima United FC. It was all the more meaningful for the Hoppers to score a 4-0 whitewash at Civic Stadium in Bellingham because last year that venue was the scene of a wild 8-2 YFC loss in which Hammer striker TYler Bjork scored a league-record six goals, all in the first half. This time Yakima was up to the challenge and then some, with great work at center back by Jhony Mendoza and his defensive group. When Mendoza wasn’t stopping attacks on his own there was Gonzalez, making big saves for the Hoppers. A late sequence sticks in the memory of onlookers: a double save that surely would have ended in a Bellingham goal had Gonzalez not stopped the first and then stretch to parry away the follow-up.
Antonio saw action for the Hoppers last year. Before that he attended Highland High School in Cowiche, and then went to Columbia Basin CC in Pasco. His very first team was called the “Bombers,” and eventually he aslo played at the youth level for the Sun City Strikers. Gonzalez heard about Yakima United FC tryouts last year and went with a bunch of guys he plays with on local adult clubs. On a big stage in Bellingham Gonzalez came up big for the victorious Hoppers.
About the POTW Honors
The Evergreen Premier League will be selecting an offensive and defensive Player of the Week each week during the 2015 season. The Players of the Week will be acknowledged with a pair of custom, unique socks featuring the EPLWA logo. The socks are from Rock’Em Apparel, the Official Provider of the weekly reward. The league worked with Rock’Em Apparel to finalize the look of the socks. The league logo is complemented by a rendering of George Washington in the State seal.
The phrase “Rock ‘Em” represents the willingness to achieve greatness; to go above and beyond limits,” says www.RockEmApparel.com.