Yakima Reds

Yakima Reds

Football club infobox
clubname = Yakima Reds

fullname = Yakima Reds
nickname = The Reds
founded = 1995
ground = Marquette Stadium
capacity = 1,500
chairman = flagicon|USA Jere Irwin
manager = flagicon|Mexico Hector Vega
league = USL Premier Development League
season = 2008
position = 3rd, Northwest Division



Yakima Reds were an American soccer team, founded in 1995. The team was a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, until 2008, when the team left the league and the franchise was terminated.

The Reds played their home matches at Marquette Stadium in the city of Yakima, Washington. The team's colors were red and white.

On 25 September, 2008, the Reds' management announced that the club was folding and withdrawing from the USL, citing the economic climate and the financial difficulties being suffered by the ownership group, Irwin Research & Development, as the reasons. [http://goaltacoma.blogspot.com/2008/09/after-14-seasons-yakima-reds-fold.html]

2008 Roster



* USL PDL Western Conference Champions 2000
* USL PDL Northwest Division Champions 2000

Competition History

The Yakima Reds joined the USISL Pro League in 1995, and were placed in the Northwest Division, but finished their first year of national competition with just 4 wins, a distant fifth behind divisional champions Hawaii Tsunami. 1996 was better for the Reds, missing out on playoffs on goal difference, finishing third behind Everett Bigfoot and the San Fernando Valley Golden Eagles. Yakima made their first trip to the playoffs in 1997 after finishing the regular season second to Spokane Shadow; a 1-0 victory over Cascade Surge took them to the Conference finals, where they were defeated 2-0 by Spokane, but it still promised better things for the men from Washington state.

1998 was the best season yet in Yakima's history. For the second year in a row they finished the regular season second to Spokane Shadow, but the playoffs were a different story - a 1-0 win over Seattle Bigfoot in the divisional semi-finals was followed by a resounding 4-1 win over Okanagan Challenge in the Divisional final, and although they lost 4-2 to eventual national champions San Gabriel Valley Highlanders in the regional final, the performance was indicative that Yakima were beginning to grow into a regional powerhouse.

Or so they thought. 1999 was disappointing for Yakima as they suffered a turnaround in form and finished a lowly 5th in the table behind champions Willamette Valley Firebirds. Things turned around superbly in 2000, however, as Yakima ran away to take their first ever Northwest Division title, six points clear of second place Spokane Shadow. The playoff were a massive success; a 2-0 win over Spokane took them to the Conference championship game, where they duly dispatched the Colorado Comets 1-0 to move onto the national stage. In the final four, Yakima unfortunately went down on the wrong end of a comprehensive 5-0 scoreline to the Mid Michigan Bucks, and they even lost the consolation game 5-2 to Westchester Flames, but to finish fourth in the country was a huge achievement. To add to the honors, Nate Nelson was named PDL Defender of the Year.

After the exploits of the previous year, 2001 was disappointing for the Reds, as they finished 5th of six in the Northwest Division behind champions Calgary Storm, and with just 5 wins all season. The 2001 season was the catalyst for a general decline in Yakima's form. 2002 was worse as they finished rock bottom of their division, again with just 5 wins all season. Yakima were better in 2003, but still missed out on the playoffs, despite enjoying several impressive wins. A 5-1 thumping of Calgary Storm Prospects was the highlight of the year, and they eventually finished the season in third place.

2004 was difficult for Yakima. Four straight defeats at the beginning of the season set the level for the rest of the season; somewhat shockingly, Yakima's home form was quite atrocious, and they failed to pick up a win at Marquette Stadium until the end of June with a 4-2 victory over Spokane Shadow. It was not until the end of the season that the Reds began putting up any kind of resistance, and they finished their campaign with back-to-back wins 4-2 over Fresno Fuego and 5-2 over Abbotsford Rangers, but it was too little too late. The year ended with Yakima fourth of four in the Northwest.

2005 was not much better for Yakima, although at least the win tally increased to four: all their wins came at home, twice against Abbotsford Rangers and twice against Spokane Shadow. To be fair to the Reds, most of their games were tight 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2 scorelines, so in many respects Yakima could consider themselves unlucky to not have achieved more, but their inability to finish out games from leading positions was their downfall, and they eventually finished third in the table, out of playoffs once more. Jared Auckland and Santa Maria Rivera-Valdovinos were the team's top scorers, with 4 each.

2006 was more of the same, although with the expansion of the division Yakima did enjoy a few more wins. However, inconsistency remained the Reds main problem, and their inability to string together a run of winning results was frustrating. A pair of 4-0 wins - one over Cascade Surge, one over Abbotsford Rangers - were the highlights of the year, but in the end their lack of confidence and their spotty form left them third in the table behind Abbotsford, and just out of the playoffs again. However, their two star goal scorers, Cameron Mertens and Christopher Sardon, did net an impressive 16 goals between them, a testament to Yakima's improved fortunes in front of goal.

However, Yakima's fortunes took a turn for the worse in 2007. The team won just three games and scored just 21 goals all season, and eventually finished a full 29 points adrift of divisional champions BYU Cougars. Their wins - 2-1 over Cascade Surge at home, 1-0 over Ogden Outlaws on the road in Utah, and 5-3 over Spokane Spiders at home on the final day of the season - were scant reward for the Yakima fans who endured watching their team lose 8 straight games from mid-June to the end of July, including a 5-0 walloping by Tacoma Tide. Only Puerto Rican striker José García offered any striking potency, leading the goal scorers list with 3 for the season.

Notable former players

* Mike Chabala
* Chris Eylander
* Danny Waltman
* Byron Alvarez


* Ignacio Baez 1995
* Luiz Marcelo Machado 2004-06
* Hector Vega 2007-date


* Marquette Stadium, Yakima, Washington 2003-date

Average Attendance

*2008: 393
*2007: 362
*2006: 369
*2005: 368

External links

* [http://www.yakimareds.com/ Yakima Reds]

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