Kitsap Pumas Match Preview
Match Date: May 29, 2010 vs. Abbotsford, B.C. Mariners
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Bremerton Memorial Stadium
With an undefeated record and a berth in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Kitsap Pumas are building momentum four games into this young season.
The Pumas (4-0-0), who have yet to allow a regular-season goal and have outscored their opponents 12-0, will look to extend their season-long winning streak to five when they host the Mariners of Abbotsford at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
Saturday’s match is “Military Appreciation Night” — active, retired and civilian military personnel will receive a 30-percent discount on adult tickets with proper identification — and it is also the final match in a three-game home stand for the Pumas, who defeated the Washington Crossfire 2-0 last weekend to clinch a berth to the Open Cup for the second season in a row.
“That was something we talked about before the season started,” first-year coach Peter Fewing said of advancing to the Cup. “We are right where we want to be.”
U.S. Open Cup At A Glance: Although the time, date and place of the Pumas’ first-round game have yet to be announced because the 40-team field is incomplete, the draw will most likely be June 1. Kitsap could play an amateur team from the West Coat or a professional club within this geographical area. Geography is a major consideration when the U.S. Soccer Federation assembles the bracket.
No matter the opponent, the Pumas hope to bring the match to Kitsap, as they did last year when the club hosted the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division in an event that attracted over 2,300 fans to Bremerton.
“We will do everything we can to bring that match to Kitsap,” said executive director Ben Pecora. “This is another opportunity for the community — and this special team — to shine.”
Defensive Dandy: One player who shined particularly bright in last week’s victory was defender Mark Lee, who scored the first goal of the match and helped goalkeeper Dustyn Brim extend his scoreless streak to 315 minutes. Those efforts lifted Lee into the PDL “Team of the Week.” He is the first Kitsap player to be named to the team this season.
Lee, an all-league selection in 2008 and 2009, has played a large role in the success of the Pumas’ back line. The defense hasn’t allowed a goal during this regular season — and it also registered five shutouts in six preseason matches.
The stingy defense, coupled with the club averaging three goals per match, has given Kitsap the largest goal advantage in the league at +12. Only the Reading United AC of the Mid-Atlantic Division has scored more goals (13).
That makes a victory a tall order for Abbotsford, who is coming off a 5-1 defeat last week at the hands of Victoria, and remains winless.
The Pumas, meanwhile, are in a three-way tie atop the Northwest Divison with 12 points, joining the Victoria Highlanders and Portland Timbers U23.
And while there will be plenty of action on the pitch, Saturday’s match also features a few special events for those in the stands. Westsound FC has been selected as the “Club of the Match,” and the Pumas are making a special welcome to teams participating in this year’s Viking Cup in Poulsbo. Teams who purchase 10 or more tickets will receive two FREE tickets for their coaches. Additionally, all youth players who wear their jersey to Saturday’s match will receive $1 dollar off the price of admission.
Blenders (formerly Emerald City Smoothies) is selling tickets to Saturday’s match in their stores in Port Orchard, Bremerton and Silverdale.
The Golden Scarf: Pumas head coach Peter Fewing received a fine accolade last night prior to the Seattle Sounders’ international friendly vs. Argentinian powerhouse Boca Juniors. Coach Pete was acknowledged for his accomplishments and commitment to the sport of soccer in our region.
Next week: Kitsap is on the road the next two weeks, visiting the Portland at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 5 and Abbotsford at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 13. The club returns home Saturday, June 19 versus Spokane. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. sharp.
For tickets or additional information, please contact club headquarters at (360) 377-6008. Tickets are still available on-line, by phone or at the team office for all home matches.