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July 9, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Kitsap Pumas take on Yakima Reds on Saturday (release)

Pumas In Critical Match This Saturday Night

Bremerton, Wash. — The Kitsap Pumas would qualify for the playoffs if the postseason started today.

But to keep hold of that position — and give itself a chance to repeat as Premier Development League Northwest Division champions — the second-year club must win the remainder if its games – including one over current division leader Portland – over the next three weeks.

That quest begins Saturday night when the Pumas host the Yakima Reds at 7:30 p.m. at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. This is the second-to-last home game of the 2010 regular season for Kitsap (8-1-2, 26 points).

The club’s finale will be held Sunday, July 18 against first-place Portland (12-0-0, 36 points, as of today) on “Fan Appreciation Night.”

“We expect to win every game,” forward Eli Gordley said following a recent match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. “Expectations are high.”

The Reds pose a favorable matchup for the Pumas, who defeated Yakima 4-0 in the first game of the season more than two months ago. Yakima (3-8-0, 9 points), however, is coming off a 6-2 victory over the Spiders of Spokane.

Kitsap also is looking to secure its first win since defeating the Victoria Highlanders 2-0 June 25. The club has since tied Vancouver, 1-1 June 27, and the Highlanders, 0-0 last weekend.

Earning an outright victory would put the Pumas in firm position for their second playoff berth in as many seasons.

With the scoreless draw last weekend on the road, the Pumas remained one of the stingiest defensive clubs in the Premier Development League. Kitsap has outscored its opponents 25-7, allowing the second-fewest goals of any club in the Northwest Division and third-lowest in the PDL.

Only Portland (3) and the Ottawa Fury of the Northeast Division (6) have allowed fewer.

Yakima, however, has been outscored by 20 goals, scoring 11 while allowing 31.

There will be little time to rest following the Yakima match because the Pumas face the Washington Crossfire, formerly the Seattle Wolves, on the road Tuesday.

Also a pivotal game with playoff implications, Washington (5-7-1, 16 points) will look to avenge a 2-0 loss earlier this season to the Pumas. The Crossfires were shutout by Portland, 3-0, in its most recent game.

Tickets to both home matches remain available and can be purchased by visiting www.brownpapertickets.com or calling club headquarters, (360) 377-6008.

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