If you are interested in playing soccer all year long, Twin City Union may just have something for you.
The football club was formed in 2016 and is in its third year of existence, offering soccer programs for all ages.
“Twin City Union FC is important to the sports community because it strives to give everyone an opportunity to further develop their soccer skills at a higher level and create a passion for the sport,” TCU Marketing Director Eric Burkevics said. “We are also working on getting the club even more community involved which helps build character when helping mold our youth players for life. We are trying to create a community, a family, and an organization that leaves no one behind based on financial reasonings.”
While he is the marketing director, Burkevics is also an assistant coach for the U13 girls team. The TCU team most people may be familiar with is the women’s team, which play their home games at Tiger Stadium in Centralia.
It was a historic season for the women’s team with the best finish in program history at fifth in the Northwest Premier League, helping TCU earn their first ever spot in the playoffs. Yakima United was able to earn a 2-1 win with a late goal in the 88th minute to end TCU’s season last Wednesday in Yakima.
“This season was a very fun season to watch. The ladies were in every game and were never really out of one. They were in a great battle with the Seattle Stars, who won the regular season top spot,” Burkevics said. “Union played especially well that day and only lost 1-0 on the road. Making the playoffs was top on the list for most of the women's team when they filled out their player bios this season as what they hoped to accomplish this season. So I think we took a huge step for our club. The playoff game was a well matched game between two teams playing in their first playoff matches.”
Tryouts for the women’s team usually occur in late March or early April, but TCU offers a lot more than just a women’s team. Tryouts for youth players usually occur in May.
Twin City Union is committed to developing local soccer talent and has many local players involved in the program, including Julia Comisky and Tizzie Zylstra of W.F. West, Rebekah and Hannah Robbins of Centralia and Megan Letts and Grace Vestal of Tenino.
“At this stage of our club development, most of our players are local,” Burkevics said. “It is important to develop local talent so that it equates to better competition in middle school, high school and hopefully gives colleges from out of the area more of a reason to come look in our area.”
With participation growing and more programs expanding or starting, Burkevics believes the future is bright for local soccer and Twin City Union.
“We hope to expand the youth programs even further by hoping to add younger groups to the mix. We would like to see U10, U11, and U12 boys and girls teams created, but we need to get the players to come out for that to happen,” Burkevics said. “With us making the playoffs with our women's team, we should expect a goal to be returning to the playoffs and winning a game, if not more. Last year, we tried out a men's team and hope to one day bring that back to the mix. Time will tell if that happens next year or not. We want to keep reaching out in the community with camps, kick arounds, and community events and fundraisers. We are actively involved with the Chehalis Boys and Girls Club and would like to find ways to reach out further.”
Twin City Union will be competing this weekend at the Kick in the Grass Tournament in Tumwater, Washington’s longest running youth soccer tournament. TCU has a U13, U14, U16/18 and a U18 team playing in the tournament and will feature plenty of local talent, including Comisky, Hannah Robbins and Makaela Meister from Adna on the U18 team. Tenino’s Megan Letts and Morgan Miner will play for the U16 team. Twin City Union’s U15 team earned a Kick in the Grass tournament championship last year.
The U14 team will feature Chehalis’ Violet Ratkie and Centralia’s Anahi Corona and Jaqueline Maldanado and the U13 team will feature Centralia’s Trinity Smith and Emma Palmer and Rochester’s Leyna Burkevics.