News Release - Monday, March 19, 2018
The Spokane Shadow Men's First Team announced that the club's Director of Coaching Mike Pellicio will take the helm for the National Premier Soccer League team this summer.
Pellicio assumes the role due to the departure of Cameron Bushey, who stepped down following his appointment as assistant coach for the Gonzaga University men's soccer program per NCAA regulations.
"There are not many times in life that emotions are at the extremes of happiness and sadness simultaneously," said technical director Abbas Faridnia. "The jubilation that Cameron is moving on to become an NCAA Division I coach is fantastic, particularly here locally with Gonzaga. On the other hand we are losing not only a top-notch coach and director from the club but a person of the utmost character, with wisdom beyond his years. Further, he has left our Men’s First Team in an much better state then when he inherited it. Cameron will always be a part of Spokane Shadow."
The Men's First Team, playing its debut season in the NPSL last summer, was 3-4-3 under Bushey in a Northwest Division that was extremely competitive with the top five teams finishing within an eight-point span.
"It was no easy decision to step down from this role," said Bushey. "Our Shadow Men’s program is a fantastic one, and the competition of the NPSL is good. I like to compete, and I’ll be missing that in May. However, it is family first, and I will be enjoying my time with them while watching the First Team games!
I am so happy to have left the program in a much better place than when I took on the head coaching job. We made a lot of strides in a short amount of time, and I am happy that my friend Mike can step into the role. It makes the transition literally seamless. Our team last year was good, we missed playoffs by six points I think, so two or three goals was all the difference.
This year we were able to put a lot more time and effort into the roster, and it’s going to show. I am glad Mike will take the lead. He will continue to propel the program to new heights and make every day valuable for the guys involved."
Bushey and Pellicio worked closely with one another last season as the latter managed the Evergreen Premier League side. The San Diego native and Santa Clara product has been with the club since 2015, joining the Shadow from nearby Sandpoint Strikers. He also serves as a coach in the Olympic Development Program with Region IV and Idaho ODP.
“I feel enormously honored and humbled to be given the responsibility of the Men’s First Team, a team whose existence predates even that of our youth club," said Pellicio. “I have a deep affinity for soccer in the community of Spokane and the Spokane Shadow as an institution. I can promise my maximum effort and a faithful interpretation of the Shadow Way in terms of club philosophy and style of play."
A new manager for the Shadow EPLWA side will be announced in the coming days for the upcoming campaign, the club's fifth season of play in the statewide league.