Kitsap Pumas / Premier Development League

Pumas supporters feed the team, announce Friesen as May “Player of Month”

The collective efforts of Kitsap Pumas supporters groups can be seen in two stories coming out of Bremerton.

The fans recently fed their players after a practice, and have voted Matt Friesen as Pumas’ “Player of the Month” for May, 2012.

Stories sent to us by Pumas fans. Have fan news about your team? Tell us at goalWA@gmail.com 

Puma Fans Feed the Team

The 2012 edition of the Kitsap Pumas Supporters Groups’ Player Feed was held last Friday (June 8), the night before a crucial match against the Portland Timbers U-23s. Although clouds were looming and the wind was picking up, a forecasted thunderstorm never arrived to rain on the picnic as Pumas players and coaches feasted following their afternoon practice.

Fans brought home-cooked dishes including chicken, pizza rolls, rice casserole and salad, supplemented by pizza, crazy bread and fried chicken. The Puma Feed also featured a charcoal grill for hot dogs.

Fans who are sorry to have missed this event (which was scheduled with rather short notice), be sure to watch for news of the annual Post-Season Picnic, in the Pumas home match programs and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KitsapPumasSupporterGroups.

This big potluck, held in a Bremerton city park with lots of room for the team, fans and their families to eat and play together, is a great way to end the season with one last community bonding experience before the players scatter to their homes around the world.

See an earlier gallery post from the player feed here.

Kitsap Pumas Supporter Groups select Matt Friesen as “Player of ther Month” for May

Matt Friesen, center, has been voted by fans as the Pumas Player of the Month for May, 2012. (David Falk)

Kitsap Pumas midfielder Matt Friesen has been selected as Kitsap Pumas Supporter Groups “Player of the Month” for May in voting conducted on the Kitsap Pumas Fans’ Page. (http://www.facebook.com/KitsapPumasSupporterGroups) Friesen led the Pumas with 4 goals scored in 6 regular season matches including 2 for game-winners during the month.

He also scored a goal in the Pumas’ Round 1 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match vs Cal FC on May 15th. Teammate Greg Miley said of Friesen on his selection as Player of the Month, “Definitely deserved. He has been quality in every game we have played.”

Matt’s first goal of the season came in the 72nd minute in the US Open Cup match vs Cal FC. This was an important score as it brought the Pumas within a goal at 2-1. Forward Ben Truax dribbled past two defenders to get into scoring position, then slid a pass to Friesen, whose one-timer beat former Kitsap Puma Derby Carrillo inside the right post. His goal engergized the team and fans as the Pumas had finally broke through after many midfield turnovers earlier in the match. This was short lived as a Puma defender was sent off with a straight red card 8 minutes later and Cal FC scored in the 82nd minute to go up by 2 again in the 3-1 defeat.

Matt Friesen. (Jeff Halstead)

Friesen was selected to the USL PDL Team of the Week for the week ending May 20 with his 2-goal effort in the team’s 3-1 victory over Sounders U23s on May 19th. Friesen’s first regular season goal came in the 5th minute with a wonderstrike as he volleyed in a ball from 25 yards out that snuck in just under the crossbar. Puma’s Coach James Ritchie said it was a big moment for the Pumas. “It was an exceptional goal by Matty – but he’s an exceptional player. He’s one of the true leaders of the team.” Matt later converted a penalty kick in the 87th minute to put the Pumas up 3-1 and assured the victory. For his 2 scores, he was chosen as the Hellcats Support Group “Man of the Match”.

Friesen also earned a USL PDL Team of the Week Honorable Mention for the week ending May 27 with his game-winning goal in the Pumas’ first ever win at Victoria in a 1-0 victory on May 27th. His free kick in the 80th minute took a deflection off the wall and went in. First year Puma Daniel Macleod on Friesen’s honor as Player of the Month, “Totally deserved; he has been great for us so far and we all hope his form continues ’til the end of the season!!”

Friesen scored his team-leading fourth goal in the Puma’s May 30th match at Washington Crossfire in a 2-1 win. In the 36th minute off of a corner kick, defender Zack Sampson headed a ball down to Friesen who immediately turned and shot from 18 yards out, sneaking it in the near post. This goal proved to be the game-winner as Crossfire scored a late goal to be within a goal. Pumas keeper Zac Lubin states, “Matt has played really well. He controls the midfield for us and is our orchestrator.”

Friesen (pointing to jersey name) celebrates a goal in the Pumas’ first-ever pre-season match back in 2009. (Jenni Conner)

A member of the Kitsap Pumas’ original squad, “Sweetsauce” is the Pumas all-time career goal scoring leader with 22 regular season goals and 25 in all competitions including PDL Playoffs and US Open Cup matches. He has earned five USL PDL Team of the Week honors as well as two USL PDL Honorable Mention Team of the Week selections.

Fellow midfielder Daniel Fabian raves, “I classify Matt as one of those dangerous players, someone who has the ability to change the outcome of any game. He’s been incredible thus far.”

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2 thoughts on “Pumas supporters feed the team, announce Friesen as May “Player of Month”

  1. Nobody strikes a ball like Friesen. Nobody! A true professional and team asset (w/ his off field computer skillz), to bad there aren’t more opportunities to play pro in the USA West Coast.

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