Stars To Open Home Slate Against Sacramento

by Brett Gleason

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma Stars open the home portion of their 2015-16 schedule with a matchup against the Sacramento Surge on Friday, November 6th at the ShoWare Center, the team announced today.

The club’s home opener against Sacramento marks the beginning of the Stars first full season playing in the Major Arena Soccer League. The club will play a total of 20 games this season, 10 of which will take place at the ShoWare Center.

The remainder of the Stars 2015-16 scheduled is expected to be released on Wednesday, September 9 and will cover the entirety of the club’s 20-game season.

Sacramento is led by Head Coach Mark Bickham, whose ties to soccer in the Pacific Northwest include one season playing for the Stars in 1992-93 and one season as an assistant coach with club in 1995-95. Bickham also served as a coach and trainer for Highline Premier when current Stars Head Coach & General Manager Darren Sawatzky was the program’s Director of Coaching from 2002-08.

Bickham was instrumental in the development and construction of the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwilla and is a founding member of the Starfire Sports Board of Directors.

“Hosting Sacramento in our opener will be exciting, as Mark will bring up a competitive group to the place he started as a player and a coach,” Sawatzky said. “We will look to kick off the Tacoma Stars inaugural year in the MASL with a win at ShoWare Center.”

Sawatzky will lead a Stars roster highlighted by three local products in veteran goalkeeper Danny Waltman, forward Derek Johnson, and midfielder Joey Gjertsen. The team is expected to add three more players hailing from the Puget Sound in the coming days.

Season ticket packages, group outings, and suite offerings for the Tacoma Stars 2015-16 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 leading up to the start of the 2015 season can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.