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Kent man brings soccer to ShoWare Center
The Seattle Impact Football Club formalized its move into Kent on Tuesday with a press conference to discuss the future of the indoor soccer team.
Seeing the indoor field at the ShoWare Center was a dream come true for owner Dion Earl, of Kent.
"I've been talking with the commissioner for seven years," Earl said.
Seattle has joined the newly formed Major Arena Soccer League. The league will feature 24 teams in the U.S. and Mexico. The league will release its schedule in September. Several teams are from the former Professional Arena Soccer League and the former Major Indoor Soccer League.
Earl had looked initially into using the Comcast Arena at Everett but the rent was prohibitively high.
"Seattle's one of the great soccer cities in the country," Earl said.
He hopes that by basing the team in the ShoWare Center, he'll be able to pass the cost savings on to ticket prices.
"Season tickets could be $100," said Earl as he looked out over the city-owned arena.
The Impact got their name from Earl's wife, who suggested using Seattle because it was more inclusive of the greater Seattle area.
"When people talk about the Seattle area, they're also talking about Kent, Bremerton, Maple Valley and other areas," said Impact general manager Jose Moreno.
Earl's coaching staff includes head coach Jason Dunn and assistant coach Todd Haley. Earl, Dunn and Haley played soccer in the early 1990s at Seattle Pacific University and each served at least one season as a team captain. Dunn in 1994 became the first player to sign with the expansion Seattle Sounders of the American Professional Soccer League.
Haley said the team plans to draw talent from Tacoma, Seattle and the Kent Valley, but they'll also try to draw players from as far as Portland and Yakima.
The team plans to suit up 13 to 14 players for games, but will have 18-22 on the roster in case of injuries and substitutions. Tryouts will be July 19-20 at the ShoWare Center.
With a 20-game season starting in November, the team will have a limited time to get prepared, but Earl had confidence that he'll have a competitive club by the time of its opening game against the San Diego Sockers.
"We're not in this just for a party," Earl said. "We're gonna win."
For more information, go to seattleimpactfc.com.