A healthy leg never felt so good to Spokane Shadow forward Jim Martinson.
“I’m back to stay now,” said Martinson, who scored his first goal of the season last weekend against Yakima after missing the first eight games of the USISL season.
Martinson, one of nine original members of the 3-year-old Spokane soccer club, tore a ligament in his left knee during an April exhibition.
Seven weeks later, in his third game of the season, Martinson contributed by scoring the second goal in the Shadow’s 4-0 win over the Reds.
The victory improved Spokane’s USISL Premier League Northwest Division record to 8-1, 9-2 overall. The league-leading Shadow play host to Bellingham today and Cascade on Saturday at Albi Stadium, both at 7:05 p.m. Last Friday, Cascade dealt Spokane its first league loss, 2-1. The current season series stands at 2-1. The Shadow is 2-0 against Bellingham this year.
“I was disappointed with our performance and our effort (last week against Cascade),” first-year Shadow coach Sean Bushey said. “But we responded defensively against Yakima.”
The addition of Martinson, 26, should help offensively.
Last year, Martinson, a Whitworth College graduate, scored nine goals and had one assist in 16 games. His 19 points were the second-most on the team.
Martinson, formerly of Beaverton, Ore., also is an assistant soccer coach at Community Colleges of Spokane.
Shake up in the cage
Both play in college’s competitive West Coast Conference and both have contributed to the Shadow’s success.
But when the Shadow face Bellingham tonight, only one can be keeper of the cage. The choice, said Bushey, is Brian Mullen.
Mullen, a Gonzaga Prep graduate and keeper at nationally ranked University of San Francisco, joined the team last week. He started against Yakima, earning the shutout with three saves.
Before Mullen’s arrival, Gonzaga University goalie Josh Fouts had started the previous eight games. Fouts, a colorful character who apparently has borrowed Dennis Rodman’s hair-dye kit, has given up 11 goals with 38 saves in 731 minutes played. His goals-against average is 1.35.
Fouts, who played high school soccer in Portland, was the keeper when the Shadow lost to Cascade last Friday.
“It’s his (Mullen’s) time to get an opportunity to play,” Bushey said.
“He comes with quality experience. Brian keeps the ball out of the net, and that’s the most important thing. He wasn’t really tested against Yakima.”
Bushey was quick to add, “Both are capable keepers.” Fouts still can get a starting nod.
Shadow midfielder Rio Three Stars, a former Whitworth College standout, suffered a knee injury (lateral meniscus) against Yakima and was scheduled to undergo an MRI. … The Shadow have 24 points in the Northwest Division standings, 11 more than secondplace Cascade. … Shadow forward Dave Berto was named to the Premier Development Soccer League team of the week. A Ferris High and UW grad, Berto has 17 points (tied for sixth in the league). He leads the Shadow in points and goals (6).
Tonight’s promotion is Exxon “Jersey off the Back.” Eleven fans will win a game-worn Shadow jersey from their favorite player… . A youth clinic with the players will be held on the field before Saturday’s game. It begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free to anyone with a game ticket.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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