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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

July 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Kitsap Pumas to take on perfect Portland Timbers U23s

Here’s a Kitsap release previewing a big Sunday match in PDL action.

* * *

Playoff Position, Revenge On The Line Sunday Night – And It’s Fan Appreciation Night!

Bremerton, Wash. – Playoff positioning and revenge will be on the line for the Kitsap Pumas this weekend.

Kitsap concludes its regular-season home schedule with a showdown at 5 p.m. Sunday against the undefeated Portland Timbers U23 at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.

The match has been dubbed “Fan Appreciation Night” – all attendees will be entered into a complimentary raffle to win prizes during halftime – and it will feature the top two teams from the Premier Development League Northwest Division.

Portland (14-0-0, 42 points) has clinched the division and handed second-place Kitsap its only loss of the season with a 3-0 win June 5 in Portland.

Although the Pumas won’t repeat as champions, they are vying for the division’s second and final playoff spot and need a positive result to maintain what is currently a three-point lead over the Tacoma Tide.

“It’s exciting,” forward Eli Gordley said Tuesday following a 1-0 win over the Washington Crossfire in which he scored the game’s lone goal. “I can’t wait. This time we want some blood.”

For the Pumas to find the result they want – and need – they must find a way to slow down what has become a potent Portland offense. The Timbers U23 have outscored their opponents 48-5 – the biggest goal differential in the 70-team league – and they have yielded just two goals in six road matches.

But if any club has a chance to tarnish Portland’s perfect record, it’s Kitsap (10-1-2).

The Pumas, who finish the season with two-consecutive road matches, have yet to lose at home this season and are riding the momentum of gritty 1-0 road victory Tuesday over a scrappy Washington side.

Coach Peter Fewing and the players have said for the past few weeks that Kitsap’s goal is to win the remainder of its games.

Tension figures to be high Sunday not only with the playoff implications, but also because Kitsap hopes to redeem itself after a flat performance in its earlier match with the Timbers U23’s in the Rose City.

That 3-0 loss, coming with both teams undefeated at the time, gave the Timbers the inside track to the division title – which they seized. Portland’s three goals were more than any club has ever scored against the Pumas in league play, and it was one of only two times in the club’s league-play history that Kitsap failed to score a goal.

Portland plays at Victoria on Saturday night, then must make a quick turnaround to get to Kitsap by Sunday afternoon – meaning the Pumas could exploit what might be a tired squad.

It is unclear whether the Timbers will rest players Saturday in an effort to preserve fresh legs for what will most certainly be a hotly contested match Sunday.

Prizes and items to be raffled off during the first half of the match include:

* Two seats in the Seattle Sounders’ Owner’s Box, plus two Sounder scarves courtesy of Pumas owner Robin Waite

* A Party Pak, t-shirt and soccer ball courtesy of the Olympic Indoor Soccer Center

* Gift certificates for smoothies at Blenders

* Official Pumas team merchandise

* Items from team supplier Puma

* Tickets to future Pumas matches

* A team camp courtesy of the club

* And more!

Tickets remain available for Sunday’s match and can be purchased by visiting www.brownpapertickets.com or contacting club headquarters, (360) 377-6008.

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