10/04/2013 6:50 AM
Bellingham United FC is excited to announce Jim Massoni as our new General Manager for the 2014 season. Jim has been the Business Operations Manager for both the 2012 and 2013 season, so picking him to fill the vacant spot was a no-brainer. Team Insider, Brandon Enyeart recently spoke with the new General Manager to bring you up to speed on what you can expect from both himself and the team for the 2014 season.
Tell us a little bit about your new position as GM, How did the opportunity present itself to you?
As the General Manager, I will be taking on more of a broader management role when it comes to game day operations, overall business strategy, and staff management. Because the former GM, Robert Riese, has taken another employment opportunity down in Seattle, and because I have been with the team since very first season, Jeff approached me to see if I would like to take on Rob’s role as the General Manager. I am very grateful to him for having the confidence to give me this opportunity.
You've been the Business Operations Manager for two seasons now, how much will your role with the team change during the third season?
Rob and I worked alongside each other on a day to day basis for the first two seasons. We were able to complement each other’s roles and work together pretty seamlessly, so my duties, while they will be more encompassing, will not necessarily be anything new to me. I will continue to provide a great game day experience for the fans of BUFC.
You also have a new role with the Evergreen Premier League; tell us a little about that.
Currently I serve as the Director of Operations for the EPLWA. I work with other league officers, and owners of clubs, to make sure that the League will be up and running for the 2014 season. The league’s focus is to promote soccer culture throughout the state by providing a higher level of play for fans and players to enjoy within their local communities. As the league becomes fully operational within the next couple of months, I will be stepping down and letting the selected committee members and officers take over my role so I can put all of my focus on BUFC.
Speaking of the Evergreen Premier League...how are you feeling about the new league and the new crop of competition for the Hammers?
Our boys are extremely tough and resilient, and while there will be some different opponents that our players didn’t see last year, the level of play will be comparable to what our fans saw in the PCSL. The EPLWA is a very big step for soccer in Washington State. It provides smaller markets, or markets that are more distant from Seattle, a chance to view a high level of play and have fun cheering on the home club within their local communities.
The Hammers have made it to the post season twice now in as many years, but have come up empty in the first round both times. This might not be completely in your job description, but how do you feel the team can improve this year, especially while having to rebuild?
We have the upmost confidence in our coaching staff to be able to select and develop the best players that they have available to them. I would like to give you a straight answer, but this is a tough question considering that we will be entering into a new league. There are a lot of variables to consider such as new opponents, new host cities, traveling times, etc. You would have to ask Coach Calloway about the technical aspects of actual game play. The main thing that we will continue to do is to motivate, train, and support the new players coming onto the team, as well as to make sure that the fans have the support they need from us so they can give our boys the energy they need on the field.
On a scale from 1-10 how excited are you for the 2014 season?
5,012,325.7. Is that excited enough? This is a very exciting time for Washington State soccer fans, players, and coaches, and with the formation of the EPLWA, it provides a connection and opportunity to continue to be involved in soccer from college all the way up to the pros. BUFC will continue to provide fans with exciting matches that will help continue to grow soccer culture in our county. We will be facing all new opponents from our own state. This helps in creating rivalries that will be extremely relevant and sustainable because now our fans know where these teams actually come from. One big thing that I’m excited about is that now fans can travel to away games without the hassle of going through the border.