The Evergreen Premier League has some of the very best players in the state of Washington. Our clubs are stocked with dynamic local talent. Your neighbors could be our stars. Last week there were plenty of goals but there were also shut outs. Five matches produced 20 goals and three zeros on the scoreboard. Two of those zeros came in the league’s first-ever nil-nil draw. 7 of those total goals came in first-place Vancouver’s 6-1 win at Seattle.
Two players are honored this week for their performances, which elevated them above the crowd and into the books as our Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Borce Atanasov (Vancouver Victory FC, Offense) and Chris Kintz (South Sound 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.
Offense: Borce Atanasov (Vancouver Victory FC) blew apart the Seattle defense on Saturday night June 6, directly accounting for five of the six Vancouver goals in a 6-1 win for unbeaten V2FC. Borce (pronounced “Bor-chay”) scored a goal, assisted on three others, and made the initial moves in a 5th score. He was also lauded for his all-round play on defense.
“Borce has been a difference maker as a goal scorer this entire year,” says Vancouver head coach Aaron Lewis. “He showed this week that when defenses key in on him, he has the ability to recognize it and create for others. He played a part on the score sheet in four goals, but his overlapping run in another sequence played a part in a fifth. We also want to recognize his defensive effort in Seattle as it set a tone throughout our match. If he continues those aspects of his game, this special run will continue.”
Atanasov set records at Clark College in the NWAC before going to Oregon State where he will soon graduate. Victory owner Barrett Goddard has worked with Borce to make sure his comeback from an injury-plagues 2014 season is put behind him.
“Borce’s early-season performance is very rewarding for me personally and I know it is for Borce as well because of the injuries had to fight through his two seasons with our club,” says Goddard. “He and I have worked long and hard to get him in a position to play for us this season. Borce has come into the season with very specific goals and has worked very hard on and off the field to achieve those.”
Atanasov played forward in the first half and winger in the second. “Saturday he directed the offense and put Seattle under a lot of heavy pressure and duress with his communication, runs, passing and shooting,” recalls Goddard.
“He also tracked back on defense a few times to help slow down Seattle counterattacks. He sets the tone for our team on both ends of the ball with his play on the field.”
Defense: Chris Kintz (South Sound FC) had made a few saves earlier in the 0-0 match between the Spokane Shadow and South Sound FC.
You never know when the “big one” is going to test you, though. For Kintz the answer was late, very late. With the clock ticking towards the end of the match he was called upon to save a point for the second-place Shock. He did so with a quick reaction save that parried a Shadow shot off the crossbar and out of danger. Seconds later the whistle blew and the Shock had held for the first-ever nil-nil draw in EPLWA history.
It was Kintz’s third shut out of the season in seven matches. Chris leads the league in that department.
“Chris is a strong leader on this team,” says Shock owner / GM John Crouch. “He organizes the field from the net forward. He has a freakish save or two every game. Last year it was the huge one on one saves early in the games, this year it’s the late in the game saves on what should be goals that have us praising him. He lives for shutouts and we love that about him. Kintz works to help the club printing jerseys, encourages the young players, and proves his worth with his play and work ethic. Leaders are so important in this league especially when you have as much young talent as we do, a veteran with good leadership can really help.”
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.
Evergreen Premier League players will work to do just that for their clubs this season. The best of the best will have cool custom socks to show off around town for their efforts.
See previous 2015 Players of the Week listed here.