Bellingham United earned its fourth straight win on Saturday, June 30. The team was on the road in Victoria and took on Victoria United at Royal Athletic Park. The Hammers won 2-0 and made up for its earlier loss to Victoria at home.
Bellingham took the lead with a goal from Kellan Brown late in the first half, it was assisted by Chris Jepson. It was the ninth goal on the year for Brown.
“Jepson got the ball and laid it in to Kellan,” said Bellingham United FC Head Coach Lance Calloway. “He then was a little cheeky and chipped the keeper from about 10 yards out.”
The team took the 1-0 lead into half.
The second half would see another goal by Brown to further his league-leading tally to 10. It was the final goal of the game for either side. The goal came off a corner, the ball spilled out and Brown roofed it unassisted.
“Kellan was obviously the Man of the Match,” Calloway said. “He played really well, creating a lot of chances and having opportunities in both halves.”
This was the second week in a row that Brown was named Hammer Man of the Match.
The team saved a would-be Victoria goal off the line, but continued to attack late in the game with shots coming from Andrew Weishaar.
“We really had the run of play from the start,” Calloway said. “We possessed well and did exactly what we wanted. We targeted the forwards well and did exactly what we talked about.”
Victoria had one really dangerous attack off of a deadball, but the shot was tipped over by Drew Smiley easily.
“They had a couple key players out,” Calloway said. “They just didn’t look all that dangerous. We had the game in hand from the start.”
Bellingham has allowed only one goal in the last four games.
The Hammers’ next game is on the road at Langley Athletic where Bellingham will look to lock up a playoff berth on Saturday, July 7. Then the team hosts Coquitlam Metro Ford on Sunday, July 8.
Bellingham United is now 8-5-0 on the year with 24 points and sits second in the table.
Bellingham United is on the road this weekend. They will travel to Victoria to take on Victoria United on Saturday, June 30. It is the team’s final trip to Vancouver Island this year, and the second to last road game.
Bellingham is currently on a three game win streak and will look to keep the momentum going as the season nears its end. Bellingham currently sits in second in the standings, but has played a couple more games than the teams closest behind them. But even if the rest of the league were to win all of their makeup games, the Hammers would only drop as far as fourth.
“We got to win!” Bellingham United Head Coach Lance Calloway said. “It’s a big weekend for us, but we have been positive. It’s a tough game on the road and they play very well at home.”
In the previous meeting between the two teams, Victoria stole a late winner in Bellingham. It is the only loss that Bellingham has had at home.
“When they played us at home, they moved the ball very well,” Calloway said. “They have some very strong players at forward. Steve Cooper is a very dangerous striker.”
Victoria started off the season strong, winning their first four games, they then drew with Coquitlam Metro Ford and have lost six straight since then.
Bellingham United will be dealing with fewer injuries than last week and because it is the only game of the weekend, will be able to start a strong squad.
“We should be at a fairly full crew and Drew Smiley will be in goal for us,” Calloway said. “He is great in big games. Hopefully everyone is fit and good to go; we need to come prepared to play.”
Bellingham United FC earned a massive win in Pacific Coast Soccer League action on Sunday, June 24. United took on the first place, and undefeated, Vancouver Thunderbirds in front of almost 700 fans in a match that saw the top two teams in the league playing each other.
In the earlier match between these two teams, Vancouver came out on top with a 3-0 victory.
“It was a lot closer than a 3-0 score line last time,” said Bellingham United forward Kellan Brown. “We felt like we were pretty even with them last game.”
Brown scored the only goal in the game this time to give United a 1-0 win. Brown received the ball off a Greg Young flick on a throw in.
“When Greg is playing, he wins 100 percent of the balls,” Brown said. “I knew he was gonna get it and hit it out, so I ran onto it and felt the defender coming on to me. I struck it and it had front spin on it so it dipped over the keeper.”
Brown’s 35-yard goal brought his season total up to eight. He leads the league in goals scored, and United is second as a team in goals scored this year.
Head Coach Lance Calloway was not at the game. United was led by Assistant Coach Scott Caldwell for the match.
“It was a must win game for us,” Caldwell said. “Great result against a great team. I thought Joel Grossman and Mitch Barrows were solid in the back and Brendan Quilici, Sean Connor and Oscar Jimenez all played really well in the midfield for us.”
Kellan earned the Hammer Man of the Match for his performance.
“Kellan’s goal was fantastic,” Caldwell said. “To drop it in from 35 yards out was high class.”
With the win, United maintains its second place spot in the league. It now has a record of 7-5-0, which is good for 21 points total. United’s next game is on the road at Victoria United on Saturday, June 30.
Victoria is in the middle of the table after starting out undefeated in its first five games of the year. In the last meeting between the two teams, Victoria stole a late win in Bellingham with two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Bellingham United FC had arguably its best weekend ever as a young club. The team went on the road to Khalsa on Saturday June 16 and stole a 2-0 win on the road. Then on Sunday June 17, the team hosted PoCo City FC in front of over 800 fans.
In the earlier match between these two teams, United lost 4-0 and earned two red cards in the process. This game would be much better for the Hammers.
United earned its 6th win of the year with a 2-1 victory over PoCo City, and in doing so launched itself into second in the standings, though a few teams have games in hand.
United got on the score sheet in the 17 minute when Kellan Brown slotted home a penalty kick, twice. He was forced to retake the kick after someone went into the box to early. Brown earned the PK after being taken down in the box by the keeper.
PoCo City started to show its frustration towards the end of the first half and got two yellow cards in the process.
“They let the little things start to get to them,” said Bellingham United FC Head Coach Lance Calloway. “A couple of the guys started to make themselves a nemesis.”
The previous yellows would come to haunt PoCo City when they scored a goal. When they tied up the game, some players started to talk too much and the referee rewarded them with a second yellow and forced them to play with only 10 men in the 69 minute.
United shifted its tactic and brought a defender up to the mid to play a 3-4-3.
“We made adjustments after their sendoff,” Calloway said. “We pushed numbers forward. I also pushed Greg Young up forward and knew he could get balls in the air.”
Young earned the Hammer Man of the Match for his performance. He sent in the game-winning ball in stoppage time to Sean Connor.
“Greg put in an incredible ball,” Connor said. “I would have had to work to miss it. It felt amazing, I haven’t had a game winner in a few years.”
Connor got his first goal of the year with the game-winner and helped United earn another important three points.
The team next hosts league leading Vancouver Thunderbirds on June 24 at home. United now has a 6-5-0 record and 18 points with five games left of the regular season.
Bellingham United FC needed a win. The team has struggled on the road this season with only one win coming in against last place Okanagan Challenge.
On Saturday June 16, United traveled to Khalsa SC. United came away with a 2-0 win to help advance up the standings.
“It was a good win for us,” said Head Coach Lance Calloway. “It was good to get a win on the road against a good opponent and to come away with a clean sheet.”
The team was 1-3-0 on the road this season, but found a way to score early. Sujinda Dangvan scored in the 7th minute off a pass from Gabrielle Zaccagnini to give United the lead.
“We dominated the run of play in the first half,” Calloway said. “We had good possession and played with a better purpose than Khalsa.”
The score would remain 1-0 through the end of the first half.
“Khalsa came out quick and pressured,” Calloway said. “There wasn’t; anything too dangerous, and the one chance they had Hunter Torsett came up big for us.”
Torsett competed in his first game for United as the starting keeper.
United would have a couple chances of its own, with a chance being cleared off the line to rob Kellan Brown of a goal.
Matt Hardin scored the second goal in the 80th minute. The Khalsa players stopped playing thinking the ref would call offside but he didn’t. Hardin kept playing and put it away to guarantee the win.
Sean Connor earned the Hammer Man of the Match award for his effort.
“Sean led the team with tempo and calmed the players down if they started to get frustrated,” Calloway said. “He led by example for sure.”
The team plays at home on Sunday against PoCo City FC, who defeated United 4-0 earlier this year on the road. United is now 5-5-0 on the year and has 15 points.
Bellingham United has the chance to help secure itself a playoff spot this weekend as it takes on two other playoff contenders.
On Saturday, June 16 the team will travel to Khalsa SC. United has already played Khalsa at home and won 2-0.
“We always except a very challenging match anytime we go on the road,” Bellingham United FC Head Coach Lance Calloway said. “We obviously have been challenged whenever we hit the road this season due to injuries and players being unavailable. This Saturday though I am expecting to field the strongest squad we’ve been able to have on the road.”
Calloway anticipates being able to use Oscar Jimenez, Sean Connor and Justin Diener. There will be a goalie change as Leo Cohen received a red card last match against Vancouver Thunderbirds. Expect either Riley Liddle or Hunter Torset in goal as Drew Smiley is unavailable
On Sunday, United will take on another opponent they have already played. PoCo City will be visiting for the first time this season.
“I know our guys really want to redeem themselves this week,” Calloway said. “They are a very experienced squad with players who play quick and are very good at penetrating. I know our guys want another shot at them and I expect the match to be far better than last time.”
PoCo City is sitting second in the standings and have played the fewest games in the league. They defeated United 4-0 in their last meeting on May 27.
“The big thing for us this weekend is man management,” Calloway said. “At this level, doubleheaders are really hard on the guys and we need to manage the players and make sure they get rest so we can get the best result we want, six points.”
Bellingham United hosted its first Charity Shield Match, with proceeds going to Soccer Without Borders. The game was played on June 10 against Fraser Valley All-Stars, with a final score of 3-3.
It might be a cliché, but this was no friendly. With hard fought tackles, chippy play and even an almost fight during the game, their was no love lost between the teams.
Bellingham United scored first in the 20 minute from a Tyler Bjork free kick. But Fraser didn’t take long to respond. Just a minute later the team scored a goal to tie up the game.
The first half went Fraser Valley’s way as the team added two goals before halftime. The second goal was scored in the 32 minute and they added a third right before the halftime whistle.
“We were a little casual in the beginning,” said Hammer Man of the Match Chris Jepson. “We were a little tired from yesterday. I think getting scored on woke us up a little bit.”
Jepson played central defense and midfield for United and earned his second Man of the Match nomination.
“Jepson battled and wasn’t afraid to step up,” United Head Coach Lance Calloway said. “It was truly a team effort though as every player on the roster played.”
Calloway used the unlimited sub rules to his advantage to give his players much needed rest for the remaining Pacific Coast Soccer League schedule.
Substitute Keith Ferris scored the second goal for United on a pass from Matt Hardin in the 51 minute.
Greg Young was another sub that had a huge impact on the game when he scored the equalizing goal in the 79 minute, just seconds after coming into the game. He put himself on the end off a Nick Saletto cross and headed the ball in.
“”It feels nice to contribute again,” Young said. “I have been out with an injury and it is hard to just watch the guys play. It was great to be able to get into the game. Nick gave me a ball that was one that every player dreams of.”
Calloway was proud of the way his team fought back to earn the draw and will look to carry that mentality into United’s next games. United first travels on the road to face Khalsa SC on Saturday, June 16. They then will host PoCo City FC on June 17.
A few of PoCo City FC’s players will be very familiar with United as they were part of the All-Star team.
The 1003 fans in attendance let their voices be heard once again, and also helped support a great cause in Soccer Without Borders.
Bellingham United FC lost on the road to Vancouver Thunderbirds 3-0 on June 9. Vancouver maintains its undefeated record with the win. Bellingham United moves to 4-5-0 on the year.
United gave up its first goal on a penalty kick in the 36 minute.
"We played well and it was really competitive," Bellingham united FC Head Coach Lance Calloway said. "The game wasn't as bad as the scoreline indicated. Neither team really had scoring chances."
The first PK was a soft call, but nonetheless Vancouver put it away.
The second goal was off a deflection and the ball took an unfortunate spin.
Bellingham gave up the last goal on another pk call. Goalkeeper Leo Cohen was called for the foul when he came out and the opposing player sold the call after going down in the box.
"We had to adjust after that and Kellan Brown played great," Calloway said. "Brendan Quilici played solid and Joel Grossman had an incredible work rate."
Thomas Kauffman was another player that played phenomenally, and for his effort he received the Man of the Match honors.
United plays at home on Sunday June 10, against Frasier Valley All-Stars. It is the community shield match with part of the proceeds going to Soccer Without Borders.
Even though the team has only been playing for a little over a month, Bellingham United has taken the community by storm. Averaging over 1000 fans a game, the team ranks 4th in the region in attendance behind the major clubs of Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps.
But the teams fans are doing more than just cheering the team on.
Bellinghammers SC is a newly founded supporters club and what they lack in time as an official group is quickly being made up for in terms of passion, team support and even more importantly, community support.
At every home game from now until June 24, the group will be collecting non-perishable food at their booth near the front gates of Civic Stadium. The club started this outreach at the June 3 game and raised over 15 pounds of food. The only advertising this received was through online outlets.
“We hope to raise a lot more,” Hooligan Ron said. “We’re trying to get the word out more and we’re not only doing Bellingham United games, we are going to set up a booth at Bells games, Slam games and Bulldogs games.”
Hooligan Ron, the superfan that anyone who has been to a United game has seen, decided to start the supporters group only a few weeks ago.
“We started the group and wanted to make a quick impact,” Ron said. “We want to do more than just say we’re part of the community, we want to show it and what better way than to raise food for those that need it.”
The food raised will support the Bellingham Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County.
“I know a lot of kids depend on the schools for food,” said Ron. “We hope to do more next year as well.”
The amazing part of the story is that it is all supporter driven.
“Its great that our supporters are coming together and helping support the community,” Bellingham United President Jeff McIntyre said. “We aren’t telling them to do anything, this is all up to them and we fully support them in this. We don’t want to direct the groups at all.”
Through the halfway mark of the year, Bellingham United has solidified itself in the top half of the Pacific Coast Soccer League and leads the league in goals scored with 21.
Bellingham United defeated Khalsa Sporting Club 2-0 on Sunday June 3 and sent home the 1,113 in attendance happy. Although United has played eight games this season, while many teams have only played six or seven, they have earned enough points to keep themselves in a playoff spot.
At this point in the season, United has earned .5 points per match. That is better than Okanagan Challenge had last season who went on to win the playoffs.
Tyler Bjork started the scoring for the Hammers in the 11 minute off a throw in from Justin Diener.
“It was a long throw in,” Bjork said. “I saw that all the other players were too far forward and put myself in the right spot and tucked it away.”
Bjork was named Hammer Man of the Match for his effort in the game. He was given the ceremonial “Hammer” by the Fan of the Match, Hooligan Ron. Fan of the Match is a new tradition started by the club.
The second goal was scored right before halftime by Brendan Quilici off a corner kick. Oscar Jimenez earned the assist on the final goal of the game.
Head Coach Lance Calloway was forced to watch the game from the sideline due to a red card in the previous match.
“It’s a different perspective,” Calloway said. “I don’t think it was our best game. We were a little slow, but we had some good combinations. Sitting up above gave me some perspective on what to work on.”
Assistant Coach Scott Caldwell stepped up in Calloway’s absence and earned the win.
Goalkeeper Drew Smiley played his first minutes at home after suffering an injury earlier in the season. Smiley still has not been scored on at home this season.
“I thought our back four was phenomenal,” Smiley said. “They put their bodies on the line. I think Joel Grossman filled in some holes well, Chris Jepson was solid, Diener played smart as always and Thomas Kauffman had a great game.”
Smiley wasn’t the only one with praise for the defense.
“I think our defense and Drew played great,” Bjork said. “Not to mention the three in the middle who did a great job of winning balls and distributing.”
Bellingham United improves to 4-4-0 on the year and has 12 points in the standings. The team’s next game is on June 9 against Vancouver Thunderbirds who haven’t lost yet this year. The team then plays an exhibition game at home on June 10 against the Fraser Valley All Stars.