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Ballard FC
Nickname(s)The Bridges
FoundedDecember 1, 2021
Stadium Memorial Stadium
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Capacity10,000
Owners Lamar Neagle
Chris Kaimmer
Sam Zisette
Head coach James Riley
League USL League Two
20231st, Northwest Division
Playoffs: USL League Two Champions
Website Club website
Current season

Ballard FC is an American soccer club based in Seattle, Washington, competing in the Northwest Division of USL League Two. They began play in the 2022 season and won their first league championship in 2023. The team's home venue for the 2024 season is Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center.

History

The club was founded in 2021 and is owned by former Seattle Sounders FC player Lamar Neagle, Chris Kaimmer, and Sam Zisette. It is based in the Ballard neighborhood and would play home matches at the Interbay Soccer Field. [1] [2] The club's largest supporters' group is The Bridge Keepers. [3]

Ballard FC made their league debut on May 21, 2022, defeating Lane United FC 6–1 in front of 1,200 spectators. [3] The team finished second in the USL2 Northwest Division behind Oregon's Capital FC and qualified for the league playoffs. They advanced to the Western Conference Final in Des Moines, Iowa, where Ballard FC lost 2–1 to the eventual league champions Ventura County Fusion. [4] [5] Captain and defender Lesia Thetsane was a finalist for the USL2 Player of the Year Award and was one of 14 players to return for the club's second season in 2023. [6]

Head coach Jason Farrell left the club in July 2023 after they had clinched a playoff berth and was replaced by Ethan O'Neill on an interim basis. [7] Ballard FC secured their first Northwest Division title and hosted several playoff matches at Interbay Stadium. [8] The club advanced to the USL League Two Championship, which they would host at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Washington, against Lionsbridge FC on August 5, 2023. Ballard FC won their first championship 2–1 with a goal in stoppage time scored by Cameron Martin in front of a sellout crowd of 3,416. [9] [10] The club are the second from Washington to win the league's championship, after Kitsap Pumas in 2011, and earned qualification to the 2024 U.S. Open Cup. [11]

On March 20, 2024, Ballard FC played their first U.S. Open Cup match at Memorial Stadium, their temporary home during year-long renovations to Interbay Soccer Field. The team lost 1–0 to Spokane Velocity FC, a new USL League One team based in the state. [12]

Stadium

During their first two seasons, Ballard FC played their home matches at Interbay Soccer Field, a 1,500-seat stadium in the Interbay neighborhood south of Ballard. The stadium was built in 1997 and is also used by the Seattle Pacific Falcons collegiate soccer teams. [1] The team plans to temporarily move to Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center in 2024 while renovations at Interbay Soccer Field are made to comply with accessibility requirements. [13]

Club identity

The club crest, designed by a Ballard-based agency, was released alongside the founding announcement in December 2022. [14] [15] The crest depicts the Ballard Bridge over a sunset.
As a primary, Ballard FC wears cream colored jerseys with red accents, and collaborates with local artists for third jerseys each year. The inaugural 2022–2023 home jersey included a sublimated wave pattern from the Seattle flag. [16]

2022 Home
2023– Home
2022–23 Away
2024– Away
2022 Third
2024– Third

Players and staff

Technical staff

Technical staff of Ballard FC
Position Name
Head coach United States James Riley
First assistant coach Zambia Mutanda Kwesele
Assistant coach United States Josh Chasan
Head of goalkeeping United States Ben Dragavon
Assistant GK coach United States Sean Rash
Head of strength & conditioning United States Bo Pearson

Roster

Ballard FC roster
Position Name Number
Goalkeeper Italy Pierluca Carnovale 0
Defender United States Christian Engmann 2
Midfielder United States Chris Meyers 3
Defender United States Leo Burney 4
Forward United States Austin Brummett 5
Midfielder Japan Taketo Onodera 6
Forward United States Charlie Gaffney 7
Midfielder United States Joe Dale 8
Forward United States Alex Mejia 9
Midfielder United States Peter Kingston 10
Forward United States Richie Aman 11
Defender Lesotho Lesia Thetsane 12
Goalkeeper United States Conrad Lee 13
Goalkeeper United States Adam Braman 13
Midfielder United States Cameron Yriondo 14
Midfielder United States Ray Mendez 15
Forward United States Elliot Spatz 17
Midfielder Cameroon Jibril Rodet 18
Midfielder Scotland Rhys Gourdie 19
Defender United States Isaac Ketcham 20
Defender United States Demian Alvarez 21
Defender United States Bryson Hankins 22
Midfielder United States Sean Sent 23
Defender United States Khai Brisco 24
Forward United States Charlie Holmes 25
Midfielder United States Rafi Otero 26
Midfielder United States Cameron Cruz 27
Forward United States Kojo Dadzie 28
Forward Norway Daniel Burko 29
Goalkeeper United States Charlie Lanphier 30
Defender United States Luke Hammond 33

Year-by-year

Season records for Ballard FC
Year Division League Regular season Playoffs Open Cup
2022 4 USL League Two 2nd, Northwest Conference Finals Did not enter
2023 4 USL League Two 1st, Northwest Champions Did not qualify

Honors

League

  • USL League Two Playoffs
  • USL League Two Western Conference
    • Champions (1): 2023
  • USL League Two Northwest Division
    • Champions (1): 2023

Player

Honored players on Ballard FC
Year Player Country Pos Honor
2022 Ian Mejia   USA FW All-Western Conference Team
Lesia Thetsane   LES DF
2023 Lesia Thetsane   LES DF Team of the Year
Stas Korzeniowski   USA FW Northwest Division Player of the Year

References

  1. ^ a b Evans, Jayda (December 1, 2021). "Seattle is getting a minor-league soccer team. Here's how Ballard FC went from vision to reality". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "About – Ballard FC". Ballard FC. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Evans, Jayda (May 21, 2022). "Ballard FC kicks off its existence with passionate fan base already installed and an easy win". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  4. ^ Van Belle, Greg (September 21, 2022). "Ballard FC: An Inaugural Season to Remember". Sounder At Heart. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  5. ^ Evans, Jayda (July 28, 2022). "Ballard FC look to continue 'surreal' run in USL2 playoffs". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  6. ^ Evans, Jayda (May 20, 2023). "Ballard FC looking to build on success of first season in Year 2: 'We set the bar really high'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  7. ^ "Head Coach Jason Farrell Taking Next Step in Career, Leaving Ballard FC". Ballard FC. July 3, 2023. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  8. ^ Walker, Meghan (July 18, 2023). "Ballard FC to host U.S. League Two playoffs in Interbay Stadium this weekend". MyBallard. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 5, 2023). "Ballrad FC wins USL League Two title". Soccer America. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  10. ^ "Lionsbridge FC falls in national championship game on stoppage-time goal near Seattle". The Virginian-Pilot. August 6, 2023. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  11. ^ Evans, Jayda (August 5, 2023). "Ballard FC prevails in a thrilling USL League Two final". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  12. ^ Evans, Jayda (March 20, 2024). "Ballard FC falls to Spokane Velocity in U.S. Open Cup after late controversy". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  13. ^ Van Belle, Greg (October 10, 2023). "Ballard FC will play 2024 season at Memorial Stadium". Sounder At Heart. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  14. ^ "BALLARD FC LAUNCHES INTO USL LEAGUE TWO". Ballard FC. Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  15. ^ "Ballard FC". Flying Eye Design - A Seattle Graphic Designer -. Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  16. ^ "Ballard FC Inaugural Home Jersey Revealed, Available for Pre-Sale". Ballard FC. Retrieved 2024-04-14.