This is the first part of a series of articles of the newly formed semi-professional soccer team, the Everett Jets FC. This series chronicles the build up of the franchise all the way to their inaugural match. In order for a sports team to exist at the professional or semi-professional level requires an owner or ownership group with financial backing. In order for the team to be successful in competing for championships requires the owner or the ownership group to be committed to their investment from day one. Part One looks into owners, Hawk and Marco Mummey’s vision they have for their club.
Over many family dinners, brothers Hawk and Marco Mummey brainstormed of creating a semi professional soccer team for the city of Everett, Washington. The USMNT loss to Trinidad and Tobago failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2017 and the shuffling of management within the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) that ensued, was a turning point for the two brothers.
“I was watching a lot of the changes go on in professional and semi professional leagues throughout the United States and how much was getting shaken up especially right after the US failed to qualify for the last world cup,” said Marco Mummey. “It just kind of dawned on me there’s no better time than now.”
Amateur soccer has had its roots in Everett dating back as far as to the mid 1990’s, but nothing has lasted in the long run. In 1995, the Everett Bigfoot played in the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL). The team had aspiring plans to develop players who could eventually join the Seattle Sounders who were then playing in the American Professional League. The Everett Bigfoot existed for only two seasons. “Not that it drew tons of fans but it was a place, a platform for players to come and play,” notes Marco Mummey.
“Years went by and we were like, okay let’s actually plan it out. Can this be a viable opportunity in Everett,” said Hawk Mummey. “Thing just started rolling, next thing you know, Marco came up with the name and everything.” When creating a name for the club, the brothers didn’t have to look far for source of inspiration that reflected the city and the community. They chose Everett Jets FC inspired by the massive Boeing factory where the 747, 767, 777, and 787 wide body airliners are built. “It fits great for Everett,” adds Hawk Mummey.
With a name decided upon, the brothers made the official announcement in 2018 that the Everett Jets would begin playing matches in the year 2020. The Jets will play in the Evergreen Premier League of Washington becoming the 11th club to join the Washington EPL. Prior to Covid, the regular season would consist of 10 matches, played from beginning of May to mid-July. The regular season would be followed with a playoff tournament to decide the league champion consisting of semifinal matches played between the top two clubs from both conferences. The season including the playoffs would be finished by the end of July.
A coaching staff has already been assembled. Vasco Rubio will be the Jets Head Coach. Rubio has an extensive background of playing and coaching soccer within the soccer landscape in the Seattle area. Behind him as assistant coach will be Teddy Mitalas who is just as big an icon to the sport of soccer in the state of Washington. “As we were going through the process year one, you would have expected in our opinion to have a hall of fame coaching staff right off the bat,” says Hawk Mummey.
The owners plan to hold tryouts over a two-day period and are flexible of expanding the roster from 22 to 25 players if need be. They aren’t looking for quantity of players to fill the roster but rather the quality of player skill. The owners believe two days is enough time for the coaching staff to make a solid evaluation of the players who will be on the team for the inaugural season.
“This isn’t for guys past their prime, this (team) is truly to develop young players that still have a future,” says Hawk Mummey. “Long term that’s our goal. We dream that eventually we will have players that will come through our program and can eventually that make that national pool. Just look at local players like Jordan Morris and DeAndre Yedlin, they grew up in some of the local club teams.”
Like the team that is going to be built around local talent the owners looked for sponsors of the businesses within the community. Currently the Everett Jets have teamed with 10 sponsors from local businesses. “It’s all about local, it’s all about the community. Hawk talked about how much it means to these players, we have so many of them reaching out to us all the time. It’s about the community and the local player base,” said Marco Mummey. “It only makes sense to incorporate the local sponsorships too.”
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic grounded any hopes of the Jets inaugural season would take flight in 2020. All clubs in the Washington EPL came to agreement that the season must be canceled. The owners have sympathized with the players, the fan base, and the sponsors who were looking forward to the clubs first season, now put on hold.
“I can only imagine the devastation that this Covid pandemic has put on these athletes where it’s taken a season away from them,” Hawk Mummey says. “It’s incredible how terrible that is not only for just soccer but all youth sports in general at the youth levels. The pro’s their fine, they’re playing they got all the lawyers and attorneys to get them up and running and salaries to go. It’s the guys that are still developing their craft they got hit so bad.”
Amazingly none of the club’s sponsors have pulled out and remain committed. “We are really happy they have stood by our side during this Covid pandemic,” says Marco Mummey. “We’ve done our best to continue to promote them throughout this year despite all of the challenges, we’ve still tried to get them the coverage they deserve.”
“These sponsorships are all about relationships,” Marco Mummey continues. “I think it just shows the dedication that we have to these sponsors as an organization that we care about them, and that we care that they succeed just as much they care that we succeed. It speaks a lot to the organization and the principles we’re built upon and how we’re striving for something that can benefit the local community around us at large. It speaks to those sponsors and how much they see that vision as well.”
The owners are hopeful the Jets can play this year. Even if the Jets can’t play a full regular season in the Washington EPL, the owners want to schedule friendly matches against other clubs from various leagues to be filled in that time frame.
Through the trials and tribulations even with the addition of Covid 19 delaying the first season, the brothers find there’s a greater reward for what they are doing. “At the end of the day, I think through the whole process of just going through this, we’ve kind of had an awakening that this is so much bigger than just us,” says Hawk Mummey. “The community, the Everett community, in particular the footballers in the area. It’s been a humbling experience to realize this isn’t about us. It’s truly about the young footballer that’s trying to get to that next level offering him a platform to showcase his talents.”