Stars Primed For Season Opener Against Sonora

by Jeff Husted

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma Stars (0-0) kick off the 2016-17 Major Arena Soccer League when they host Soles De Sonora (0-0) at the ShoWare Center this Saturday, Oct. 29 at 6:05 p.m. PT.

Coached by reigning MASL Head Coach of the Year Darren Sawatzky and anchored by last season’s MASL Goalkeeper of the Year Danny Waltman, the Stars will look to build upon the momentum of the club’s playoff run in the 2015-16 season.

The Stars roster once again features scores of talented athletes from the Pacific Northwest and across the country. Last season’s leading goal scorer, forward Dan Antoniuk, and midfielder Michael Ramos, who notched a pair of game winning goals down the final stretch of last year, highlight the returning group of players.

Defender Evan McNeley, who logged time with the San Diego Sockers each of the last three seasons, returned to his roots in the Pacific Northwest when he signed with the Stars this August. The veteran defender has 37 career points and 45 blocks in his MASL career.

Tacoma and Sonora faced off twice last season, with Sonora taking both matches by a combined score of 21-14. Stars forward Joey Gjertsen recorded points in both matches, sending in a pair of goals.

Paving the way for Sonora will be forward Franck Tayou, who led both the team and the league with 62 points last season en route to earning the MASL Most Valuable Player award.

Both clubs earned playoff berths out of the Pacific Division last season, but recent divisional realignment has separated the two clubs. Sonora now finds its home in the Southwest Division, while Tacoma will once again reside in the Pacific Division.

Live stats for the match can be found at, while a live webcast of the game can be viewed by visiting

Single game tickets, season ticket packages, group outings, family packs, and suite offerings for the Tacoma Stars 2016-17 season are available now. To purchase, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Stars online at The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.