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June 11, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Kitsap Pumas match preview v. Abbotsford (B.C.) Mariners

Kitsap off to a 5-1 start plays on Sunday. Here’s the team release previewing the match:

* * *

Bremerton, Wash. – The Kitsap Pumas will look to erase the memories of a difficult loss when the face the Abbotsford Mariners for the second time in three weeks Sunday.

The Pumas (5-1-0) lost for the first time this season and dropped to second place in the Premier Development League Northwest Division last weekend following a 3-0 setback against the Portland Timbers U23 (6-0-0), who took sole possession of the league’s top spot.

“Sports mimic life,” Kitsap coach Peter Fewing said following the loss. “Things won’t always be easy. It’s about how you react, so we need to get to work and bounce back.”

The club’s chances of bouncing back are good entering this game – a rematch of a contest played two weeks ago in Bremerton when the Pumas defeated Abbotsford 4-1.

The Mariners (1-3-1) have been outscored 13-6, coming off a 1-0 loss against the Tacoma Tide last weekend.

In the first match-up between Kitsap and Abbotsford, first-year midfielder David Gray provided a goal and an assist in his first action with the Pumas, landing him a position in the starting lineup against Portland.

Gray wasn’t the only new face in the starting lineup last week as fellow newcomer Jamel Wallace started for the first time on defense in place of Taylor Hyde.

Whether Fewing will turn to Wallace again this week is unclear, especially after the club allowed a season-high three goals and looked uncharacteristically out of sync against the Timbers U23.

This game also will be a final tune-up before the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in which the Pumas host a first-round game against the Bay Area Ambassadors FC, of San Francisco, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.

The players and coaches stated that it is a team goal is to advance beyond the first round for the first time in club history, meaning it’s important to build momentum against Abbotsford.

Kitsap holds an advantage over Abbotsford in nearly every statistical category. The Pumas have scored nearly three times as many goals (17 to six) and have allowed more than three times fewer (four to 13).

Next Matches: Kitsap kicks off what amounts to a four-match home stand (including the aforementioned US Open Cup match Tuesday) with home tilts vs. Spokane (June 19, 7 p.m.), Victoria (June 25, 7 p.m.) and Vancouver (June 27, 1:30 p.m.) All home matches are played at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.

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. For additional information, please contact the Pumas’ office at 360-377-6008.

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