Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spokane Shadow appoint Barnhart as GM for EPL-WA men’s team

The Spokane Shadow men’s soccer team set to re-launch in 2014 as members of the state’s newly-formed Evergreen Premier League (EPL-WA) announced that Spokane native and INWsoccernews founder Gerald Barnhart, who served as the first Public Relations Director for the Shadow’s USL Premier Development League team from 1997-99, has joined the team and will serve as the general manager.

“We are excited to have the quality and expertise of Gerald. This goes hand in hand with what SSC Shadow is trying to produce as a club.,” said SSC club Technical Director Abbas Faridnia. “Gerald was from the original Shadow days setting the standards of administration for the USL PDL team, and his expertise from working in the United Soccer Leagues headquarters will be invaluable in helping us bring higher level soccer to the community of Spokane,”

A graduate of Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University, Barnhart joined the Shadow PDL side while concluding his education at EWU and later advanced to a position in the communications department of league headquarters at USL in Tampa, Fla. While at USL, Barnhart initially oversaw the communications and media relations for the amateur flight leagues (PDL & W-League) and later the professional leagues (now USL-Pro).

For the past two years he has operated the independent news site Inland Northwest Soccer News (INWsoccernews.com), covering the sport at all levels throughout Idaho, Montana and Washington and Oregon east of the Cascades. He is also the assistant editor for the nationally soccer-renowned site TheCup.us, the leading place for coverage of the US Open Cup from its history, to qualifying and the championship.

“I am excited to be back where it all started and working with a number of individuals from back in the old Shadow days who were merely players, but are now shaping the future,” said Barnhart. “The Spokane Shadow PDL team was ahead of its time as an attendance leader not only in the PDL but as a marquee franchise throughout the Northwest and beyond for what it did on and off the field, and the success that followed. I am fully dedicated to do my best to help ensure that occurs once again.”

Barnhart, who has been consulting with the club over the past few months through its EPL-WA launch, will oversee the team’s operations and communications.

"Moving on to USL was a fantastic experience. I met and worked with some amazing individuals in Tampa as well as around the nation at other clubs ranging from the youth ranks all the way up to professionals teams - some of whom are now owners or executives at Major League Soccer clubs around the league. The one thing I did grow to miss, however, was the unique feeling tied to working with a particular club and the game-day experience that came with it, something that I have been able to feel third-hand to a degree the past two years covering the local soccer scene at the youth, collegiate and elite amateur flights."

"INWsoccernews.com will continue to operate as it has done over the past two years, though obviously working hand-in-hand with the Shadow Men. Though Washington soccer has also had the steadfast support of GoalWA.net, a operating partner of EPL-WA, over the past few years as well, it remains the goal of INWsoccernews to maintain coverage of the sport at all levels in this region, which has very limited coverage devoted to it."