By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
Despite some struggles on the field, the North Sound SeaWolves soccer team had what head coach and owner Alex Silva regarded as a successful season.
The SeaWolves finished 4-12 in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division. North Sound lost its final six games to place seventh out of the eight-team finish and missed the playoffs.
North Sound faced tough competition, including three teams who had Major League Soccer (MLS) affiliations, in its second year of existence and first based out of Edmonds Stadium.
“This season was very competitive,” Silva said. “When you get three MLS club affiliates, it raises the bar. It raises the quality in our division. Our Northwest Division is the best one in the United States.”
The SeaWolves struggled at the start of the season, losing three of their first four contests.
“I was expecting a little more. It took time for the team to jell,” Silva said. “All I care about is the development of the team and the development of the players we have.”
Silva expects some of North Sound players to be continuing their soccer careers, possibly in the MLS.
Abdul Aman, who was a senior out of the University of Washington, impressed Silva.
“He should be playing in the MLS,” Silva said.
Goalkeeper Claudio Lazar (Concordia University) and defender Kevin Cook (Seattle University) were two other players who stood out this season, Silva added.
“We had a lot of energy,” Silva said. “We had a lot of players looking to move on to the pro level.”
North Sound was 3-5 at home but struggled on the road with a 1-7 record. Part of the problem was schedule conflicts, which resulted in a lack of consistency with the starting lineup. Some of the SeaWolves’ players missed games due to finals at their college.
“Next year we’re going to work on when their finals are and try to schedule games at times they’re available,” Silva said.
Attendance was up, as contrasted from the team’s first season when games were played at Goddard Stadium in Everett. North Sound averaged close to 300 fans at its eight home games this season.
Silva hopes to return to Edmonds Stadium next year.
“It was easy-access. The visitor teams all liked it,” Silva said. “We liked it ourselves. The Edmonds School District arranged all the dates. It worked out well.”
Once the public knows a little bit more about the Premier Development League, which is affiliated with the United Soccer League, Silva expects there to be an uptick in attendance.
“It’s above college. It’s the best college players coming together and trying to get to the pro level,” Silva said. “All the MLS teams are looking at our players and seeing who is ready to get a chance. Once more people in the community know about it, fans will increase.”
Fans told Silva they were very impressed with the quality of play.
Many of the SeaWolves’ younger players saw action toward the end of the season. It was part of the process of building toward next year.
“We’ll be looking at those players in the offseason,” Silva said. “We’re going to do evaluations on the players and their performance. We want to make sure the players who we have really want to move on to the next level.
“We’re looking forward to being back next year. We want to increase attendance and to spread the word.”