Veteran, rookie lead Yakima sweep of Player of Week honors


BELLINGHAM, WA— The Evergreen Premier League announces that Yakima United Football Club have swept the July 10 Player of the Week honors after their 4-0 win over Wenatchee FC last Friday.

Hector Valdovinos. (Tracie Fowler)

It was the first-ever win for the Hoppers over their Central Washington rivals, and it featured performances on both ends of the pitch that combined for goals and a shutout. It was a match for veteran striker Hector Valdovinos to shine (and to reach 20 goals in EPLWA play) and for rookie goalkeeper Chris Kirby of East Valley High School and Central Washington Soccer Academy to get his first Hoppers start and shutout. It was a combined force of generations for Yakima soccer. Two goals for Hector, a zero on the scoresheet for Chris.

Hector Valdovinos was Man of the Match for the Hoppers. His brace also makes him Offensive Player of the Week in the EPLWA.

Hector Valdovinos (Offense)

“We’re extremely honored to have two of our players take honors this week,” says YUFC  General Manager Josh Vega. “It’s interesting because Chris is kinda this new face we have to introduce whereas Hector is the complete opposite. Everyone knows what Hector’s about on the field and his record of scoring goals speaks for itself. While he’ll be the first to tell you his season hasn’t quite gone as well as he would have hoped, Friday was a vintage performance for him, and I’m sure he’ll build on that and finish the season strong.”

Valdovinos scored a brace against Wenatchee. His goals in the 21st and 56th minutes pushed his three-season total with the Hoppers to 20. Hector was honored earier this year by the Washington Adult Soccer Association. In an interesting twist, Hector was also named Player of the Week last season against Wenatchee.

Chris Kirby holds a trophy won by his Central Washington Soccer Academy earlier this year.

Chris Kirby (Defense)

Chris Kirby is a junior at East Valley High School in Yakima, where he has been a starter on varsity soccer. Chris has also won trophies with the Central Washington Soccer Academy in elite club play. He was named the first team all conference goalkeeper this season in the CWAC. His future is bright and includes (according to his twitter page) a chance to jump over to training in the MLS Portland Timbers system. Last Friday the youngster showed he can play with the big boys as he shut out Wenatchee while making 5 saves.

“Chris is young and a newcomer to our team but you can see he has tons of potential. I haven’t been able to spend much time with him but everyone praises his attitude and his work ethic,” Vega says. “For him to come in and play like he did on Friday night in a derby is pretty special. Those are the types of games everyone wants to play in, under the lights in front of a good crowd and against a rival like Wenatchee…Chris took his opportunity well and we’re all happy for him.”

Two names in Yakima soccer – one already in the history books, and one just getting started. Both are Evergreen Premier League Players of the Week.


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 2016 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.

EPLWA Logo-06-CROP-500The phrase “Rock ‘Em” represents the willingness to achieve greatness; to go above and beyond limits,” says

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.



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