Seattle won on Sunday. Ballard FC were convincing winners over their Seattle neighbors Cultures United FC on the scoreboard, but Sunday’s friendly was all about community and the Ballard Food Bank, which collected 202 lbs of food and item donations from Ballard FC fans!
As mentioned in the pre-match report, Cultures United FC is based in Seattle and serves the community by using soccer as a tool for unity and positive social change. The club does great work, and has impressed Ballard FC head coach Jason Farrell.
“They (Cultures United FC) do an amazing job in their community with soccer as the theme… and we can learn how to make an impact in the community from what they do” Farrell said after the match.
To learn more about Cultures United FC, head over to their website.
The match itself served as a perfect tune-up for Ballard FC’s important USL2 matchup with PDX FC this Friday June 10th.
Veteran striker Tyler Bjork got the scoring going in the 14th minute with his first of the season. Bjork smartly deflected Joe Dale’s shot past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Dale, the Roosevelt High School senior, wasn’t done playing provider. Just eight minutes later, Dale made his way to the byline, dribbling past a pair of defenders and chipping the ball across the goal mouth. Pouncing on the opportunity was James Morris who tapped in Ballard’s second of the day and his first of the season.
The goals kept coming, with Cale Spence getting in on the action in the 26th minute. Spence, a Ballard High School graduate, beat his man on the left flank, forcing him into a bad recovery tackle and drawing a penalty. After winning the penalty kick, Spence stepped up calmly dispatched it into the bottom corner.
Spence would grab his second just minutes later. After beating his man to they byline, Morris sent in a beautiful cross to put it on a platter for Spence who finished nicely.
Ballard FC would grab one more before halftime. In the 39th minute, Morris picked up the ball near midfield and went on a slaloming run, beating three defenders before slotting the ball past the keeper. Morris’s second gave Ballard a 5-0 advantage at the break.
At halftime, Interbay Stadium shifted from hosting a football match to a community celebration, honoring the work of two great Seattleites. Sunday’s halftime honorees were Jen Muzia of the Ballard Food Bank and Cultures United general manager Sebastian Diaz. Ballard FC seeks to highlight great people and organizations at every home game, and Sunday afternoon was no different.
The second half of the match began much like the first with Spence getting his third goal in the 47th minute. The hometown hero quickly became the hat-trick hero, scoring 3 goals in just a 21 minute span.
Despite his great individual performance, Spence was grateful for the performances of his teammates post-game. Spence cited the “unbelievable service” that set him up for why he was able to be so dangerous on Sunday.
The rest of the half was marked mainly by the large number of substitutions, as both teams began to prepare for their upcoming matches.
Cultures United did eventually get on the scoresheet as Dawda Dibba’s deflected shot bounced into the back of the net in the 60th minute.
From there, Ballard FC would get two late goals to finish the scoring. Coming off the bench again, Kevin Galiano grabbed a 2 minute brace with goals in the 74th and 76th minutes. Galiano now has 5 goals in 3 games in all competitions, and will look to continue his impressive form this Friday.
The match finished with a 8-1 Ballard FC victory, and most importantly no injuries on either side.
With matches coming fast and furious in the next few weeks for Ballard FC, it was important to get some looks at players who haven’t played much yet this season with Farrell making this clear in his post-match interview.
“We’re going to need everybody on this roster over the next month, there’s a lot of games coming up” Farrell said.
Ballard faces PDX FC at Interbay Stadium on Friday, June 10. After winning their first 2 games in league play, Ballard FC will look to win a third in row to keep pace at the top of the table. This match is sold out, but there are still standing room tickets available for four of the remaining five Ballard FC home matches. Tickets are available here!
Photos courtesy of Blake Dahlin