FC Three Rivers, one of the charter members of the new semipro Evergreen Premier League, has announced the signing of nine players who will help the team kick off its inaugural season in the spring of 2014.
“We’ve been working the phones the last two days. We’ve got some other phone calls to make,” said FC Three Rivers coach Chad Bodnar. “There are still some other players around, and we’ll still hold open tryouts, but it’s definitely a good start.”
Among the nine players are several former Tri-Cities standouts, including former Tri-City Herald player of the year Jose Herrera, a goalkeeper who led Richland High to the 2003 Class 4A state title.
Several college players have also committed to building FC Three Rivers into a powerhouse.
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Joining FC3R will be former Pasco High standout midfilder Derek Zimmerman, a starter at St. Mary’s (Calif.) University; former Walla Walla goalkeeper Andrew Glaeser, now at Northern Illinois; former Richland forward Perry McNamar, now at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey; and Oregon State forward Oscar Flores, who set the Oregon high school record with 74 goals in 2010.
Two more players with college experience: Pasco product Victor Perez (Walla Walla Community College) and Kamiakin graduate Matt Pele (Western Washington), will also join the squad coached by Chad Bodnar and Mike Pardini.
Rafael Sanchez, a Wahluke graduate who played at Walla Walla CC and Paulista FC in Brazil; and Derek Gonzales, a former All-CBBN midfielder at Moses Lake now at Saint Martin’s, are also part of the first group of signees.
“What we’re trying to do is have some older, more mature guys, because some teams are going to have some ex-professional players,” said Bodnar, who also serves as the coaching director for Three Rivers Soccer Club and the men’s and women’s coach at Walla Walla Community College. “We’re balancing that kind of experience with younger guys with fresher legs.
“What we wanted is a solid core group of 12-14 players that we knew and then try to pick up 10 more that we don’t know about.”
The Evergreen Premier League will begin play in May of 2014 and run through July. Bodnar said he plans to have open tryouts for FC Three Rivers this fall and another at the end of winter.