The Tacoma Stars are preparing to launch their 2015/16 Major Arena Soccer League season at ShoWare Center on Friday, November 6th. The team has already held 2 intra-squad scrimmages at the Tacoma Soccer Center, so what more could they do to get ready for the season to begin? Go to Mt. Rainier for some freestyle, obviously. Lucky for us, they decided to invite Levy Films to capture it.
Players featured include new additions Elliot Fauske, Tyrone Hall, Michael Ramos, and Joseph Cairel, in addition to last season's leading scorer, Derek "El Tigre" Johnson.
Fauske is a veteran of professional indoor soccer and a native of Spokane. He played for Seattle University when the school was still in NCAA Division 2 and helped the Redhawks advance to the Elite Eight in his senior season. He later spent 4 seasons playing for the Kitsap Pumas, including the team that Pete Fewing led to win the 2011 PDL Championship. Fauske spent the past 4 indoor seasons playing for the Rochester Lancers. A year ago, he thought he might not be able to play competitive soccer again, due to the effects of a head injury he suffered in 2008. He was eventually cleared to play and helped Rochester qualify for the playoffs, providing 3 assists in 4 games. He is perhaps best known for his killer mohawk.
Hall is a midfielder who previously played for the Charlotte Eagles in USL and Pennsylvania Roar in the now defunct Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). Last season, he played for the Ontario Fury in the MASL. He spent some time playing outdoor soccer in Finland earlier this year.
S2 fans may remember Ramos from his time on loan from Kitsap. He only made one appearance with S2 in the home win over Real Monarchs. He also scored 2 goals against S2 in the second round of the US Open Cup in May, forcing extra time. Like Fauske, Ramos is also from Spokane and spent a season at Seattle University.
Joseph Cairel was signed by the Stars after the team's head coach/GM Darren Sawatzky faced Cairel's Burlingame Dragons while coaching Sounders U23 through the PDL playoffs and noticed Cairel's high work rate. Cairel also played a few games with Real San Jose in the NPSL this year.
Although he's not in the video, Sounders Academy alum and S2 midfielder Duncan McCormick returns to the Stars for his second season with the club. McCormick holds the distinction of being the first ever second generation Tacoma Star and Seattle Sounder. His father, Dick McCormick played for the Stars from 1989 to 1991 and later played for the Sounders from 1994 to 1996, 1998, and from 2000 to 2002.
The Tacoma Stars will also have a familiar face on the bench this season, as Steve Zakuani will join the coaching staff.
Watching the Tacoma Stars is also an opportunity to get a look at some of the players who might play for S2 next season and some that will play elsewhere in USL. 6 players who appeared for the Stars last winter wound up playing in USL in 2015, including Josh Phillips (Colorado Springs), Cam Vickers (Arizona United), Gibson Bardsley (Tulsa), Raphael Cox (Charlotte), Adam West (Louisville City), and McCormick (S2).