The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The Northwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL) has a big weekend of matches ahead. It starts tonight when the Sounders U-23′s visit Portland Timbers U-23′s in a taster for Sunday’s Cascadia duel in MLS.
Locally, the North Sound SeaWolves and Kitsap Pumas have home matches this weekend. The Northwest Division is going with a four-team playoff format this year, and it might be very good timing. The division race has never been tighter, and never had so many high quality sides in play. In previous years just the top two made the post-season. This time the owners agreed to make the top four eligible, with a 1 v. 4 and 2 v. 3 format to decide the two NW clubs that head to the Western Conference finals against the top two clubs from the Southwest Division.
Washington Crossfire has the weekend off but then ends its PDL season with a run of matches against only the other top clubs, starting Wednesday June 27 when they host Vancouver at Redmond High School..
Friday June 22 Matches:
Sounders U-23′s at Portland Timbers U-23′s (7 PM, Kiggins Bowl, Vancouver WA)
Vancouver Whitecaps U-23′s at Kitsap Pumas (7:30 PM, Bremerton Memorial)
Victoria Highlanders at North Sound SeaWolves (7:30 PM, Edmonds-Woodway)
The Pumas, Sounders and Timbers are all in a race to finish in first or second place and ensure the chance at hosting a home playoff match. Only the Sounders and Pumas have played an equal number of matches (10). Portland have played nine and Crossfire 11. The Sounders edged Portland before 1,300 fans in Tumwater a few weeks ago. The Pumas were clubbed 3:0 at Vancouver to start their season back in early May. The Highlanders and SeaWolves are both hoping to get on track and make a late charge for 4th place.
Sunday June 24 Matches:
Victoria Highlanders at Kitsap Pumas (2 PM, Bremerton Memorial)
The Pumas edged the Highlanders 1:0 earlier in the season at Royal Athletic Park. The clubs traditionally play close, low-scoring matched against each other.
Monday June 25:
Portland Timbers U-23′s at North Sound SeaWolves (7:30 PM, Edmonds-Woodway)
The other Washington clubs will be hoping that the SeaWolves can pull off an upset over the Timbers, who beat North Sound 4:1 last Sunday.