Despite numerous second half chances to pull even, it was a devastating night for the Shadow First Team Saturday evening at SFCC as FCM Portland handed their first loss, 2-1, in the opening round of the playoffs. As the game concluded, though, a dose of good news came from down south where Tri-Cities Alliance fell in its season finale, leaving the door open for the Shadow U23s to win the Columbia Division and make the EPLWA playoffs.
Saturday, July 7
Despite numerous second half chances to pull even, it was a devastating night for the Shadow First Team Saturday evening at Spokane Falls CC as FCM Portland handed their first loss, 2-1, in the opening round of the playoffs. As the game concluded, though, a dose of good news came from down south where Tri-Cities Alliance fell in its season finale, leaving the door open for the Shadow U23s to win the Columbia Division and make the Evergreen Premier League playoffs.
The NPSL West Region Quarterfinal kicked off with a bang with the Shadow scoring seven minutes in when Tanner Williams connected with Mike Ramos for the opener. The cheers quickly subsided though when the visitors answered a minute later on a goal from Christian Thyron.
A controversial play in the 39th put Portland in front as a possible foul went uncalled at midfield when Nick Hamer was knocked down as the visitors took possession. They quickly drove up the field and Fred Braun finished.
The Shadow pushed for an equalizer in the second half and had numerous chances, including a flurry of looks in the 82nd minute that goalkeeper Scott Dalrymple denied. With a just a few minutes remaining another controversial no-call drew jeers from the crowd when Karl Muelheims was taken out in the box without a whistle.
In other West Region playoff contests top seed AC San Diego also was upset on the night, falling 3-1 to Orange County, and second-seed El Farolito won 2-0 against Sonoma County earlier in the day. The other quarterfinal is Sunday.
National Premier Soccer League - West Region Quarterfinal
FCM Portland 2-1 Spokane Shadow
SPO: Mike Ramos (Tanner Williams) 7
POR: Christian Thyron 8
POR: Fred Braun 39
Spokane: Bryan Hernandez; Erik Lyons (Nate Tolton 71), JD Michael (JD Hauenstein 85), Spencer Wolfe, Garrett Wilson; Jesse Retan, Nick Hamer, Tanner Williams; Mike Ramos, Jake Levine (Chase Reidt 54), Eddie Benito (Karl Muelheims 79) - Subs Not Used: Carter Auth, Kyle Cacoyannis, Rene Caro
Portland: Scott Dalrymple; Fred Braun, Ryan Callahan, Nick Evans (Luia FLWno 58), Glapoujay Garmondeh (Patrick Allred 45), Anthony Hobbs, Ryan Middleton, Jordan Selland, Christian Thyron (Evans Omani 79), Geovanny Vazquez, Alex White - Subs Not Used: Leyton Thommasen; Daniel Allred, Cameron La Fleur, Pierce Nusbaum
The Good News
Though the Shadow U23s were idle this weekend, plenty of action elsewhere played a key role for the side's playoff picture. Sitting a point ahead of Spokane in the Columbia Division of the Evergreen Premier League, Tri-Cities fell 2-1 to league leader Washington Premier in their season finale. Sitting three points back of Spokane, Yakima played to a 4-4 tie against Coastal Division leader Seattle Stars to pull within two points with one game remaining.
Spokane travels next weekend to wrap up the campaign, needing just two points to win the Columbia Division and earn a playoff spot. They will face Yakima Saturday and Seattle on Sunday.
EPLWA - Columbia Division Scores
Washington Premier 2-1 Tri-Cities Alliance
Yakima United 4-4 Seattle Stars
EPLWA Columbia Division Standings
Tri-Cities 3-6-1... 10 points
Spokane 3-5-0... 9 pts
Yakima 1-4-4... 7 pts