That was a hot one. ALL of the players in the Evergreen Premier League deserve tons of credit for taking to the pitch during record heat and giving it their all for the local badge.
The dedication to the sport and to our home towns was on display throughout Washington. Everyone showed why we celebrate #OurState #OurClubs and #OurCulture.
Two guys had performances that gained buzz and attracted the attention of the league. A versatile player from the Olympic Force and a valuable teammate from the Spokane Shadow are getting some socks for playing multiple positions in victories.
Offense – Roland Demombynes can play all over the pitch. On Sunday afternoon in Bellingham he did, but it was a talk he had with Olympic head coach Kevin Skinner after being subbed out and before being put back in that turned the match for the Force.
Demombynes was born in Seattle and is a graduate of Garfield High School. He’s played local indoor soccer with the Snohomish Skyhawks as recently as last winter. He played major college ball at Humboldt State.
“We signed Roland with the intention of playing him as a forward this year and I felt he would get goals,” says Force head coach Kevin Skinner. “But he is so universal I think I’ve played him everywhere but GK. He’s been playing center back recently and has been class.”
The Force needed goals on Sunday, trailing Bellingham United 2-1 in the 75th minute. “Things weren’t going our way on Sunday so we took him out, gave him some instructions, and asked him to go get us some goals,” says Skinner. So Roland pushed forward, and the results speak for themselves. He scored in the 76th to tie the match 2-2 and then got Olympic’s winner in the 86th.
“The first goal was Roland all over, fantastic first touch, good strength and a great strike,” describes Skinner “The second was right time, right place, which you need as a good goal scorer. He was a real handful and almost had a third.”
In the winter indoor season Roland had a match with the Skyhawks where he scored four goals and dished out two assists. For the Force he’s been a versatile, experienced contributor. He now has three goals. “The win was a team effort and Roland had been a team player all year,” Skinner says. “He really deserves a ton of credit this season. He’s a top lad and a great player.”
Defensive- Brady Ulen is there when the Shadow need him. On Sunday in Yakima when it was 102 degrees at kick off and the club had already played a crucial match in Vancouver the night before, Ulen knew he would need to be a leader out there on defense. He came through for his club in a 2-1 win that gave the Shadow a weekend sweep and six points in their assault of a second straight EPLWA championship. He did so at various positions.
Ulen is one of the Spokane players who came from across the border in Idaho. The Post Falls native and PFHS graduate played college ball for the North Idaho College Cardinals and is moving on to four-year play at Western Washington University in Bellingham where he will be a junior this fall. His talents are appreciated on the pitch and he is well-liked in the clubhouse too. He’s already established a willingness to take action in the real world. Check out this story from 2 years ago when he was still in high school. Brady chased down a crook while working at a local restaurant.
Saturday night in Vancouver, the Shadow defense shut out the Victory 2-0 in Camas. On Sunday night in Yakima Ulen was up front in the second half while the Shadow defense were faced with guarding the tall and talented Hector Valdovinos and the prolific Jesse Esquivel on their home field. They were also dealing with injuries to attacking players the day before.
“In a back line that is almost entirely new from the outstanding group we had last year, Brady has been a consistently strong presence in limiting opportunities for the opposition,” says Shadow General Manager Gerald Barnhart. “And, on top of all that he has a natural ability to play a role in scoring on set pieces. Those abilities proved key Sunday when we were short attacking players from the attrition of the weekend and he started the second half up top. I know our goalkeepers will be glad to see someone from the back line honored this week.”
Ulen’s versatility gave the Shadow a depth needed to survive a scorching weekend of 180 minutes of soccer.
About the Players of the Week 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.