BELLINGHAM, WA—The Evergreen Premier League today announces that Spokane Shadow forward Christian Haas and Seattle Stars goalkeeper Saif Kerawala are the EPLWA Players of the Week for their standout performances on the weekend of July 1-2, 2017.
CHRISTIAN HAAS (OFFENSE) Spokane Shadow
Christian Haas (Whitworth Pirates) scored five goals over the weekend in two matches for the Spokane Shadow. He got two in a 3-2 loss to Vancouver Victory and then came back the next day to score a hat trick in a 4-0 win over the Olympic Force.
“Christian was a constant threat for us all weekend whether he was getting played in, creating from the dribble, or doing the play-making himself,” says Shadow Head Coach Mike Pellicio. “In addition to being a youth product of the club, Christian also comes from the Whitworth program which employs an extremely similar style of play to ours. Having Christian around is always a big bonus because of his familiarity with our style of play and allows for us to make seamless tactical adjustments with minimal fuss.”
Christian’s “partner in crime” was fellow Pirate Eric Espinoza, who assisted on three of his five goals.
SAIF KERAWALA (DEFENSE) – Seattle Stars
The Seattle Stars had to make a stand on Sunday. The league-leaders went into Bellingham knowing the top of the table was at stake. The Stars left like they came in, with a 3 point lead thanks to a 1-1 draw, and thanks to several spectacular saves from goalkeeper Saif Kerawala (Washington Huskies).
“Overall, I think our organization as a back five was good,” Saif says. “Our two center backs did a fantastic job of dealing with balls over the top, and our outside backs did well to minimize service into the box from Bellingham United’s dangerous wingers. I was glad I could come up with a save at the end to help secure the draw. I think it was great result for us to come out of a hostile environment with a point.”
More than just the save at the end, Kerawala had the crowd and the Hammers gasping a couple of other times on what looked like sure goals only to see the goalkeeper reject the chances.
“Bellingham played a high pressure, competitive game. Having Saif in goal gave our team, especially our back line, the confidence to perform,” says Seattle Stars Head Coach Omar Lara. “With his exceptional distribution it quickly transitioned the game from defending to attacking. Saif’s height and his quick reflexes, allowed him to make amazing saves and denied Bellingham from scoring on multiple opportunities. His confidence and calm nature throughout the entire game kept us strong and allowed us to take a point from an away game and kept the team as the front-runners.”
Kerawala came to the Stars from the Washington Huskies Pac-12 Soccer Program. “Through a partnership with the UW coaching staff we built a relationship for them to provide a few players to join the Seattle Stars program for the summer,” says Lara. “It keeps the players active and allows them to play in a competitive league.”
The Stars had their eye on Saif right away. “From the recommendation of the UW coaching staff and after attending a few practice sessions, I knew right away that Saif would be a great addition to our team,” Lara says.
Saif is happy to be playing in the EPLWA. “I would not be playing here if it wasn’t for the hospitality of the Stars staff and players, who have welcomed me and the rest of my UW teammates with open arms. The competitive atmosphere at training and in games makes the Seattle Stars a great program to further develop me as a player.”
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 2017 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.