Ballard Football Club is rooted in a passion for the game and pride in the community.
The club’s coaching staff is a reflection of those ideals with Jason Farrell taking the helm as the inaugural Head Coach and he will be joined by three assistants with diverse soccer backgrounds who will lead the charge in 2022.
Farrell himself is a longtime Ballard resident and Seattle native who played collegiately at Skagit Valley College, the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University. His professional career includes two different stints with the Seattle Sounders in the A-League/USL era bookending three seasons with the Columbus Crew in MLS and a loan spell with the LA Galaxy. After his retirement in 2004, he continued to be an integral part of the Seattle soccer community as an assistant coach at Seattle University and the Sounders before moving into youth development with clubs throughout the Puget Sound.
Joining Farrell will be Amadou Sanyang, David “Bingy” Lara and Ben Willis, giving Ballard FC a wide-range of experiences on the field and in development that will give the club’s players opportunities to grow and the Ballard community reasons to be proud to support the team.
Sanyang is a native of The Gambia in West Africa. A highly-sought prospect in his youth, he came to North America at 17 years old and played for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer from 2009-2010 before signing with Seattle Sounders FC in 2011. After one season with the Rave Green, he played three seasons for the Charleston Battery in the USL, but ultimately he felt the Northwest calling to him and returned to Seattle with Sounders FC 2 in the USL for his final two professional seasons. During his final seasons, he already integrated himself into the youth soccer community and has since joined the staff at Eagleclaw FC in Federal Way.
Lara was raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in a soccer loving family and has spent his post-collegiate career crafting the games of young aspiring players throughout the country. After time with Morehead State and the University of Kentucky, he was an assistant coach for current Sounders assistant Freddy Juarez in the inaugural season of the Real Monarchs in the USL. After two seasons in Utah in 2015 and 2016, he made his way to the Northwest and has since been an active part of the soccer community in the Puget Sound. His acumen was so highly regarded that he was a Talent ID Scout for U.S. Soccer, identifying players throughout the region who have gone on to appear for the U.S. National Team at various youth levels. In addition, he has integrated himself into youth clubs throughout the region.
Willis is a Federal Way native who played collegiately at Gonzaga University and went on to the professional ranks with Rio Grande Valley FC in the USL Championship before returning to the Northwest in 2020. With experience on the field at the PDL level with Lane United at the Sounders FC U-23s, he is familiar with the level of play and the demands of players in the league. He will coach the goalkeepers with Ballard FC as the team readies for its inaugural season this summer.
While all four coaches have diverse backgrounds, they all share a common passion for soccer and the Puget Sound and will be valuable assets to Ballard FC and the community in Ballard.
Ballard FC kicks off its inaugural season in USL League Two on May 21 against Lane United at Interbay Stadium.