They both hoisted trophies last week. One in Spokane and the other across the country in Virginia. Both are champions and represent the bright young stars playing in the Evergreen Premier League. This week one scored four goals in a single match and the other played his part in shutting down a tough offense. Adam Talley of the Spokane Shadow and Taylor Jackson of the South Sound Shock are the final EPLWA Rock’em Socks Players of the Week for the 2015 season.
Offense – Adam Talley saved his best for last. He scored four goals in the Shadow’s final match of the season as the 2015 EPLWA Champions won going away 5-1 over the Olympic Force. It’s the highest single-match output by a player in the league this season. “I thought the game went very well,” said Talley after the match. “We wanted to come out aggressive and we had some good combinations that opened up through balls and we really made them pay.”
He waited until the last match, but Talley’s outburst makes him the second player ever to win two POTW awards in a single season. Eleazar Galvan of Wenatchee did it earlier with two hat tricks in two different weeks. Talley thus doubles his goal total for the season from four all the way up to eight. That ties him for second place with Yakima’s Hector Valdovinos. Galvan finished tops with eleven.
Adam’s first goal came with Zack Hamer receiving the ball at the top of the box and slipping a slight diagonal ball toward his left, finding Talley cutting toward the middle of the box. With some space in front of him he easily put it past goalkeeper Spencer Miele for the opener
Talley doubled the advantage in the 24th on a turnover deep in the offensive end. With possession behind the defense he drove to goal, beating the keeper with ease and finishing into the empty net.
Just before the half he got to a hat trick. A long ball forward from Brady Ulen put Talley on a run to goal. His initial well-paced shot was stopped by the keeper, but the rebound banged off a nearby defender and right back in his path for a second-chance finish.
The Shadow capped the game with a fantastic team goal in the 76th. Defender Ben Thompson drove forward up the right side and sent the ball toward the right outer corner of the area to Higgins, who quickly gave to Hamer cutting diagonally through the area from the middle toward the right post. From a sharp angle Hamer sent the ball through the six to the far post where Talley dashed in and ruffled the back of the net once more.
Defense – Taylor Jackson raised a trophy last week too. It was the USASA U-23 National Title won by the South Sound FC U-23’s, of which Taylor is the team captain. The Shock’s league season ended with a 1-1 draw against explosive Wenatchee on Sunday night. Jackson was his usual self again. “He is very focused on the field, doesn’t let anything get under his skin,” says Shock head coach Adam Becker of Jackson. “Taylor is an excellent one-v-one defender, one of the more technical players on the team…good going forward as well.”
Taylor says of his performance against Wenatchee: “I believe it was the work rate and the minor details that stood out to me. Going that extra step to make sure I was working with the guys beside me and in front of me to defend well as a group.”
What a year for the Pacific Lutheran (Parkland, WA) graduate. His team lost just once in league while his “other team” won the national title. Jackson is soft-spoken about his role. “My season with the Shock has been good. Had a rocky start with some minor injuries but recovered and was able to contribute where needed.”
Taylor has his own style. It might be understated, but that doesn’t mean his hard work goes unnoticed. He did it in Virgnia, and again to close out the EPLWA campaign in Chelan against Wenatchee. “As a leader, I’m not one that’s going to yell and try to inspire guys to push and work harder,” he says. “I feel that I lead through my work rate and effort to finish every play. Whether that be getting into a hard challenge or making the extra effort to keep a ball from going out of bounds. I lead through my play more than my words. In the end, the team played together and for each other and that’s what got us the trophy.”
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.