Goalkeepers were hot in the Western Indoor Soccer League last weekend as four clubs opened league play but no single side managed more than four goals. Tacoma got four past Bellingham while giving up three and in Arlington the visiting Wenatchee Fire were tough to solve in a 4-2 win over the Aviators. So it’s no surprise that the position was a topic of discussion as the WISL worked to name its first ever “Player of the Week.” In the end the honor goes to the guy who gave up the fewest goals, and that is Danny Romero of the Wenatchee Fire.
“After figuring out Arlington loves to counter attack, we had to keep the pressure high and man mark their play maker,” Romero says of the strategy used by the Fire. “There was no room for mistakes as they punished us for a couple we did. But other than that the team came out strong defensively.”
The Aviators’ Andrew Escalante was on the other side, his team trying to solve the Wenatchee defense and beat Romero. “Danny had a great game,” says Escalante. “First half he made some key saves that kept the game at 2-2. We could have gone into the second half with a two or three goal lead if it wasn’t for him.”
Arlington Head Coach Dagi Kasim agrees. “I felt that Danny had good positioning in the goal and also even when they were behind he kept a positive attitude. He had a key role in their comeback win.”
Romero has played the indoor game for four years, two of those with the Fire. He was the starting goalkeeper for Wenatchee FC of the Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) for the first half of that club’s summer season.
“I had to come out confident. Holding my ground and not going down easily were the key points. Most saves were only by a couple of fingers or the tip of my foot.”
Romero’s attitude about playing indoor goalkeeper is as important as his skills are. “My style I bring to the pitch is encouraging others, being brave and play with a lot of heart. All the great saves and plays come along. Being vocal is most important. I communicate to my teammates as much as I can from defenders to forwards. I’m the one who sees everything from being in goal and I need to take advantage of that and help in every way possible.”
Congratulations to the Fire defense and to the man blocking their goal. Danny Romero is the first ever WISL “Player of the Week!”