Local College Teams Rise to the Top with Crossfire Players
A pair of Seattle universities are making noise in the NCAA men’s soccer rankings this year, and both are doing it with rosters stocked full of players with ties to Crossfire Premier.

When the NSCAA Poll was released last Tuesday, the 9-1-0 University of Washington Huskies were the nation’s No. 1 team. Featuring a full dozen players who’ve taken the field for Crossfire, either in youth, Academy or PDL play, the Dawgs are in fact ranked No. 1 in every major poll, including Soccer America, TopDrawerSoccer.com and Bennett Rank. Washington is also ranked No. 1 by RPI, the formula used by the NCAA selection committee to determine postseason berths.

In NCAA Division II, sixth-ranked and unbeaten Seattle Pacific University continued their torrid start to the 2014 campaign with a 1-0 win over No. 22 Northwest Nazarene this past weekend in a battle of the top men’s soccer teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. With 7 former Crossfire players on the roster, the Falcons (10-0-1) are in the midst of their longest undefeated start in the 47-year history of the program, which includes five NCAA Division II championship teams.

Continuing the Crossfire connection, SPU is coached by Mark Collings, who doubles as the head coach of Crossfire Premier’s high-school-age boys teams. Collings was a four-year Falcons letterman and captain of the 1998 Final Four squad.

For UW, assistant coach Jeff Rowland also serves as an assistant with the Crossfire Premier USSDA academy teams, while UW goalkeeper coach Richard Reece coaches ECNL teams at Crossfire and also directs the club’s goalkeeping program.

Big games are on tap for both teams this weekend, as Washington travels to face No. 2 UCLA on Thursday and San Diego State on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.

SPU puts their nine-game winning streak, longest in the nation, on the line versus a pair of Northwest rivals. The Falcons clash with four-time defending GNAC champion Simon Fraser on Thursday in Burnaby, B.C., before visiting Western Washington on Saturday in Bellingham.