The last memories fans of Bellingham United and Yakima United have of their departing heroes Mo Marenah and Dennis Stevenson will be winning ones. Both said goodbye to their clubs last weekend in flashy performances that led their sides to wins and earned them Evergreen Premier League Player of the Week honors.
Mo Marenah (Offense)
Mo has been with the Hammers for three seasons. In that time he became a real supporters favorite. He’s headed to Ellenburg to finish a college degree, but Sunday he scored the dramatic winning goal in the 88th minute as BUFC locked up second place in the table with a 4-3 win over the Seattle Stars.
“Sunday’s final match was an important one for the squad as they all had worked through the season to finish as high in the table as possible.” explains Hammers Head Coach Lance Calloway. “While we couldn’t capture the title we wanted second place and we knew we had to win as Spokane had beat South Sound on Saturday. Before taking the field, we as a squad acknowledged this was Mo’s last match and he stated he wanted to go out like Kobe Bryant. Well sure enough he did! Mo contributed the assist on Luke Olney’s second goal tying the match at 3-3 and then when Rene Caro played the ball out wide to Mo who beat Seattle’s left defender I knew he had a chance and sure enough he placed it by the keeper into the right side net in the 88th minute. It was absolutely a perfect end to our season and for Mo’s time in the black and white of Bellingham United.”
Marenah had announced on social media earlier in the week that this would be his last match for the Hammers. A crowd of 425 was there to send him off and support their side.
“I was extremely excited not only for winning the match but for Mo to get the goal as there were a lot of fans there to watch Mo in his last match with the club. Mo has been a huge asset for the club. He is just a quality guy who cares a lot for those around him, especially the kids he interacts with. Mo has represented BUFC both on and off the pitch. He was nearly always present whenever we were involved in community activities and that is in part why he became a fan favorite. He has also been a coach of the Hammer’s FC Academy camps and Junior teams that work with many of the young players in our community. Kids love working with Mo as he shares his fun personality with the kids and he engages them in a way that draws them into him. Mo will certainly be missed as he moves on to Ellensberg to finish his degree but regardless the 3 years he was with Bellingham United has made him a Hammer for Life! We wish him nothing but the best!”
Dennis Stevenson (Defense)
Dennis Stevenson is a fixture in the Yakima soccer community and especially in the back line of Yakima United and a few local clubs that came before. Saturday night her was honored by the Hoppers (see video below) and then went out and helped his club clobber the 2016 EPLWA Champion Vancouver Victory 5-1 at Marquette Stadium.
“I’ve pretty much run out of superlatives to describe what Dennis means to our club both as a defensive player and a leader,” says YUFC General Manager Josh Vega.
“For his final appearance for United he showed all the great things about himself in one game, battling through injury, scoring a goal to get his team going, and being a leader at the back keeping us solid in defense.”
As his time with YUFC has wound down, Stevenson has been taking more of the club’s penalty kicks, and pushing up for other attacking chances. He finished 2016 as the club’s co-leading scorer (Hector Valdovinos) with five goals.
“For me his performance last weekend and what he’s meant to this team and this league may be summed up best by his exit. As he walked off the field for the final time with a few minutes remaining in the game several players and staff from our oppenents Vancouver took a minute to acknowledge him with applause, hand shakes, and hugs.”
A final tough as nails performance. A goal. A 5-1 win. Stevenson walks away a true winner. “We’ll miss Dennis for sure,” says Vega. “I think the league will miss Dennis, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to end his premier level playing career than by receiving the last EPLWA Defensive Player of the Week awards of the season.”
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.
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.