The defending PDL National Champion Kitsap Pumas began the early eager steps towards the 2012 season with their first open tryouts session on Saturday February 11th at Gordon Fields, located between Bremerton and Silverdale.
We’ve got video interviews and photos.
by David Falk
The Kitsap Pumas had about twice as much interest in this year’s open tryouts as last years, a sign that winning a national title does good things to your reputation via the soccer player grapevine. Not only were the numbers way up, but the ‘type’ of guy turning out was younger, more athletic and looked overall more like PDL material.
I spoke with Dion Coxe, a central defender from Whitworth University in Spokane (see video interview). He’s an example of the kind of player that could make it in the PDL if given the chance. Coxe seemed at home in back in front of the various goalkeepers also on trial, even heading the ball back to one in a calm defensive move.
In the middle I noticed the creative flair and excellent first touch of Danny Medina (see video interview). Medina comes all the way from San Antonio, and talked about how he would have been in Bremerton last year —with the Laredo Heat— in the PDL Finals, if he hadn’t decided to turn them down for a different team.
Kitsap Pumas owner Robin Waite sees the club keeping ten or so players from open tryouts around as they move into training later this spring. Waite revealed that the Pumas are also conducting another open tryout event, this one in Northern California, in hopes of getting fresh talent from that region as well.
The Pumas will be looking for help right up the middle this year. Fan favorite Nik Besagno is sticking to the east side of the Sound this summer and leaving the Pumas for Washington Crossfire, according to Waite. Besagno will coach a few teams for Crossfire Premier and play on their PDL side, too. (Crossfire recently announced Adam Nowland as their new head coach).
The Pumas will host the trialists again on Sunday the 12th in the second and final day of the event.
The Kitsap Pumas open trialist list: Paul Aur, Mintesnot Beyecha, Paul Brumm, Thomas Bryan, Malang Camara, Austin Cohn, Mark Cottrell, Dion Coxe, Zack Deacon, Dylan Durrell, Angelo Fotinopoulos, Jaime Garcia, Evan Gaul, Edson Gonzalez, Matthew D.W. Hamilton, Jevin Hillis, Matthew Hoyt, Ray Justin (JT) Meyer, Humberto Mora, Robert Nyambura, Herbert Orellana, Eric (Ricky) Pendergrass, Brandon Pratt, Julian Quintero, Jonathan Robin, Ben Rusch, Brett Schmidt, Robert Taylor, Lonnie Wells, Jeremy Ralston, Danny Medina, Brent Ricigliano, Liviu Bird, Josiah Strain, Max Cullen, Andrew Conti, Nick Rasmussen, Mitchell James, Ciaran Kearney, Zac Lubin, Julian Bravo.