SEATTLE — Saturday marked the first match of Seattle’s newest men's semi-professional soccer team, Ballard FC. The franchise hopes to make an impact on and off the pitch during their inaugural season, and for seasons to come.
"It's not just a couple of us at Ballard FC, it's businesses, non-profits and fans rallying together to make this truly special," said Sam Zisette, co-founder of Ballard FC.
Zisette is one of the founders of this grass-roots club, that came to be in just the past year. His love for soccer and Ballard runs deep, having graduated from Ballard High School back in 2012.
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"I was on this pitch playing for Ballard High School and now fast forward and I'm here helping create Ballard FC and putting on our first match," said Zisette.
Ballard FC's home turf is just south of the Ballard bridge at Interbay Stadium, and if you can't catch a game in person, all you'll have to do is cross the bridge. Thereyou'll find Adam Robbings, the co-owner of Ballard’s own Reuben Brew's, which is the club's main sponsor and will also showcase every Ballard FC game.
“We're in the community, we live in the community, we work in the community, our kids go to school in the community and so it's really important to us to support community organizations,” said Robbings.
Just like the team's slogan, “Up the Bridges,” this club hopes it will lift the spirits of the community and inspire fans to achieve their goals.
"Not just young soccer players, but young community members, to see how generous, how kind and how amazing this community is and for them to be inspire and grow their love the community and ultimately grow their love for soccer," said Zisette.
Saturday's match was sold out with more than a thousand fans in the stands.
The final score against Lane United FC was 5-1 in favor of Ballard FC.