We often boast of the rich soccer history in the state of Washington. And it’s true, the state has punched well above its weight when it comes to producing soccer talent for both the men and the women. But with the World Cup on a two-day break, we found ourselves a bit bored and were inspired by this tweet:
What if U.S. States had ‘domestic’ teams?— Jack Hazzard (@JTHazzard) July 12, 2018
• Had to be born in state
• Must be an active player pic.twitter.com/Uo6YIVuYPq
Could we make a roster using only Washington-born players who are still active in the professional ranks?
Turns out, we could! And we only needed to fudge a tiny bit.
So here it is:
Goalkeepers (3): Spencer Richey (USL), Paul Christensen (USL), Ryan Herman (USL)
Defenders (9): DeAndre Yedlin (EPL), Sam Rogers (USL), Michael Harris (USL), Kyle Bjornethun (USL), Brent Richards (USL), Josh Phillips (USL), Michael Gallagher (USL), Niko de Vera (USL), Taylor Mueller (USL).
Midfielders (5): Kelyn Rowe (MLS), Aaron Kovar (MLS), Henry Wingo (MLS), Lamar Neagle (MLS), Ray Serrano (USL)
Forwards (4): Jordan Morris (MLS), Seyi Adekoya (Denmark), Sean Okoli (Sweden), David Olsen (USL)
Assistant coaches: Anthony Hudson (MLS), Tommy Dutra (MLS), Darren Sawatzky (MASL)
Head coach: Brian Schmetzer (MLS)
You’re probably furiously scouring the Internet to check our work and/or see if we missed anyone. We’ll save you some work: Everyone here is listed as being born in Washington, with the exception of Brent Richards. But we decided to grant him a waiver since, as best we can tell, he spent virtually his entire life in Washington after having the misfortune of apparently being born in a Portland, Ore. hospital. (Richards, by the way, is having a bit of a breakout season as a left back with Reno 1868 where he has 17 starts and two assists.)
One player we were inclined to add, but opted not to was goalkeeper Trey Muse. Considered one of the top collegiate goalkeeping prospects, we left him off since he’s not yet a professional. We were also reasonably staffed at goalkeeper, even if all three are currently plying their trade in USL. We also think the Washington Football Federation have a decent appeal if they want to try to get Cristian Roldan (Rainier Beach) added to the roster.
On the coaching side, we were inclined to add Caleb Porter (Tacoma) to the staff, but left him off since he’s technically inactive.
The strength of the team seems to be in the midfield, where Federal Way’s Rowe anchors a unit that could feasibly feature four MLS players.
The defense, though, looks like it could struggle at least against some of the more talented teams, as Rogers is the only true center back.
Still, outside of the top four states that were listed in the original post, this looks like a team that could at least make a run to the semifinals and with a little luck might even finish with a medal.