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July 31, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Pumas’ season ends in Laredo, Texas; Interview with DC United’s Ely Allen

The Kitsap Pumas, PDL Northwest Division champs, fell to the Ventura County Fusion tonight in Laredo, Texas in the PDL quarterfinals 2-1. Great first season for the Pumas.
Here’s my story on the arrival of Leonardo Gonzalez to Sounders FC.
Allen, a former trialist with Sounders FC, talked with Alex Caulfield from the Seattle Wolves. Most of interview is below.
In his first interview since rejoining the ranks of Major League Soccer, Ely Allen discusses the value of playing for Seattle Wolves Football Club and how his experience with the PDL club helped to get his career back on track.
Though the club prides itself on developing top amateur players for careers in professional football, Seattle became a place for Allen to readjust his focus and hone his skills in the Premier Development League.
In the regular season Allen appeared in every Seattle Wolves match and was first in assists (6), and second on the squad in goals scored (6). His efforts were crucial in securing a post-season position in Seattle’s inaugural Premier Development League campaign.
Prior to this interview, Allen learned that he was named to the 2009 PDL Western Conference Team of the Year. The winger joins Seattle Wolves teammate Daniel Scott on the squad, making Seattle one of only three clubs to feature multiple players on this esteemed roster.

SWFC: Congratulations on your move to D.C. United, how are you settling in initially with you new club?
EA: Honestly, I’m settling in pretty well. This club is very organized, and I have been treated really well. When my agent told me about the move I think I was a little nervous, but now that I am here I can see how ambitious and professional D.C. United is. So far they [D.C. United] have made every effort to make me feel at home, and I really appreciate that.
SWFC: What are you most looking forward to about being back in Major League Soccer, are there any particular opponents that you are eager to face?
EA: In terms of the opposition there isn’t any one team that I am dying to face, although I am looking forward to the U.S. Open Cup Final against the Sounders. Most importantly I am just happy to have a second chance, not many people get that opportunity and I want to make this most of it. I want to prove myself again and show my talent.
SWFC: Is it true that you suited up for the CONCACAF Champions League Opener against CD Luis Angel Firpo this past Tuesday?
EA: Yeah I made the 18-man roster and was on the substitutes bench; I was thrilled. My first league match will be this weekend against Houston, and then after that I am looking forward to the second leg of the CONCACAF match-up.
SWFC: It must be quite a change going from the PDL to biggest competition in the continent.
EA: That’s absolutely right, it has been pretty crazy. With the Wolves I had a great experience, but its one thing to play a match in Yakima. It is quite another experience to be heading to El Salvador for the region’s biggest competition. Soccer is taking off over here [Washington D.C.] just as it is back home [the Pacific Northwest] and people are serious about it. This was obvious in my first match at RFK Stadium for the CONCACAF Champions League.
SWFC: You had a stellar year for the Wolves in 2009. You were first in regular season appearances, first in team assists, second in goals scored, and you even made the Premier Development League Western Conference Team of the Year. What was your impression of your season in Seattle?
EA: It was a great experience, and I mean that. At first it was strange coming from L.A. [Galaxy] and going to the PDL, but once I settled in and began training there was real talent on our roster and I just began to enjoy my soccer. The Wolves are so well run I just felt at ease. Everything was first class; the players, the staff…even our travel accommodations were really professional. Overall playing with the Wolves gave me the opportunity to remain sharp and fit, and without my time in Seattle I may not be back in MLS right now.
SWFC: How did you feel when you heard about the Wolves’ 3-2 come from behind first round playoff victory in Portland?
EA: I was pumped. I talked to Daniel Scott about it and he filled me in. I was really pleased for Chursky [Wolves striker Alex Chursky]. He works so hard and it was great to see him bang in some goals and help the guys to reach the next round, I was very proud of them.
SWFC: The Space Needle or the Washington Monument?
EA: Come on, I’m from the Pacific Northwest. I have to say the Space Needle.


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