Sounders Insider

Tacoma Stars host indoor quarterfinal Sunday

Here's a news release from the PASL:

The Tacoma Stars of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL-Premier) find themselves in the quarterfinals of the US Arena Soccer Open Championships after upsetting the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro) Wenatchee Fire 10-9 in overtime on Saturday.

Tacoma is currently the only PASL-Premier team to beat a PASL-Pro team in the 25 team tournament. Led by Greg Howes, the Stars rallied from a 9-6 deficit to send the game into overtime where Howes' fourth goal of the game ended it in sudden death.

The Stars will now host the Denver Dynamite, another PASL-Pro team, on January 25 at The Soccer Center in Tacoma at (noon). If Tacoma wins they will face the Stockton Cougars in the semifinals.

The Stars are led on and off the field by Howes. The 31-year old three-time MISL MVP and Tacoma native was signed in the offseason as the Head Coach and director of the Tacoma Stars Academy Program.

Other notable players include former MISL player Lee Williams and goalkeeper Chris Kintz, who join Howes on the US National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST), and Erik Sterling. Sterling is one of 10 finalists out of 1,000 entrants in the MLS Sounders Super Search open tryout.

Denver is 5-6 in the PASL-Pro season and reached the quarterfinals by beating the Ft. Collins Fury and Colorado Lightning. Player/coach Chris Handsor is the team's leading scorer with 12 goals and 14 assists in 11 games. Ryan Creager, Tony Thomas, Jay Hamilton, Garth Archibald, and goalkeeper Justin Dzuba also all have caps on the USNAST.

The Stars have excelled in the 51 team PASL-Premier, winning the National Summer Championship in 2004 and four Northwest Division titles from 2003 to 2007.

"We knew when we formed this tournament that one or more of the professional teams would lose to a Premier team," said PASL Commissioner Kevin Milliken. "The PASL-Premier has been in existence for 11 years, and it has developed some very good players and teams."

About Professional Arena Soccer League

PASL-Pro is a new professional league which began play on October 25, 2008 when the Stockton Cougars defeated the Colorado Lightning, 10-5 at Stockton Arena. The 2008-09 season concludes with Championship Weekend March 13-15 at Stockton Arena. PASL-Pro consists of 8 US teams, the CMISL, and LMFR. The San Diego Sockers have been added for the 2009/10 season. PASL-Premier just completed its 10th season as the nation's top amateur arena soccer league. PASL-Pro and PASL-Premier are members of Federacion Internacional de Futbol Rapido (FIFRA).