BREMERTON, WA—(club release) The Kitsap Pumas, who currently sit atop the highly touted Northwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL) with a perfect record of 4-0-0, will travel to face an undefeated Sounders U23 side (2-0-1) this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, WA.
Both teams are coming off of impressive wins against divisional foes the Puget Sound Gunners and hope to build from that momentum this coming weekend. Although the Sounders dropped points by tying division newcomers Calgary Foothills they have since looked very impressive especially last weekend when they scored five goals in the first half alone against the Gunners.
The Sounders u23s, who consistently draw top young players from around the country are led by Bronico, Delgado and Gjertsen who each have scored two goals already this season. They currently sit in third place of the division with a game in hand ensuring that this early season matchup with the Pumas will have definitive title implications.
The Pumas on the other hand, who are one of only a few teams in the entire PDL to have not dropped any points yet, use their possession orientated style of play to wear opposing teams down. They have also proven that they can score at any moment, especially late. Out of their eight goals this campaign, seven have come in the second half including five after the 75th minute.
“The guys have shown a lot of character” said Head Coach of the Pumas Cameron MacDonald. “The PDL is extremely competitive and to have the mental toughness to carry out a game plan for the full duration of a match will stand these players in good stead when they move up to the next level”
Although the Pumas have an incredible amount of offensive fire power they are truly led by an experienced defense spearheaded by returning center backs Cory Keitz and Rene De Zorzi and returning goalkeeper Matt Grosey. They have impressively only conceded one goal so far which came in the opening minutes of the first half when Kitsap played host to Calgary Foothills a couple weeks ago.
“Overall it has been a dream start to the season,” said Grosey. “It is always easy to pick out the keeper when you’ve only given up one goal but the guys in front of me are the ones that make my job easy. Having a solid group of returners mixed with the high level of quality we brought in has made it really easy for us to get in sync from the start.”
The Pumas are returning seven players total from the side that reached the PDL National Final this past season which surely gives them an edge when trying to do the same this year, especially when facing the tough opponents that comprise the division.
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The experience of the Kitsap defense mixed with their prolific attack led by top scorer Michael Chamberlain (who has already netted four goals for the Pumas in just four games) makes the Pumas the certain favorite to repeat as divisional champions for the fourth time in club history.
However everyone in the Pumas organization from the front office to the coaching staff to the players knows that there is still a lot of work to be done if they want to achieve their lofty goals. The Northwest Division is an extremely competitive division from top to bottom that can see even the lowest team snatch points from the top sides.
In addition to the clash between the only two undefeated teams left in the division on Friday night the Pumas will also be traveling to Issaquah Sunday afternoon at 2p.m. to take on the Gunners for the second time in two weeks.
And if the Pumas are serious about their championship minded dreams it starts with taking care of games like the ones they have this weekend even though they will be away from home and on short rest.
Tickets are still available as well for the Pumas next home game at Gordon Field on Saturday June 27th at 7:00 p.m. against Lane United.
Be sure to come out and support your team as they look to get closer to earning another trophy this season!