Pumas Insider

Sports reporter Jeff Graham provides the inside scoop on Kitsap's professional soccer team.
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Pumas finalize preseason schedule

March 6th, 2014 by jeff graham

The Kitsap Pumas will play seven preseason game this spring, beginning with a matchup with Seattle University and former Pumas coach Peter Fewing.
The Pumas, who open the Premier Development League season May 11 at home against Vancouver, finalized their preseason schedule on Wednesday.
They’ll be on the road at Seattle University on April 6 at 2 p.m. The remaining schedule includes three home games at Gordon Field (April 12 vs. Bellingham United, 5:30 p.m.; May 3 vs. Peninsula College, 6 p.m.; May 6 vs. South Sound FC, 7 p.m.) and three road games (April 19 vs. University of Washington, 7 p.m., at Husky Soccer Stadium; April 26 vs. International Portland Select, 1:20 p.m., at Peninsula College; April 26 vs. Peninsula College, 4:30 p.m.; at Peninsula College).

Pumas name Chapman new head coach

February 14th, 2014 by jeff graham

After news broke Wednesday about head coach James Ritchie leaving the Pumas to serve as an assistant coach for new USL-PRO club Oklahoma City Energy FC, two names emerged as Ritchie’s possible successor: Andrew Chapman and Cameron MacDonald.

The club announced today Chapman, a former assistant coach who was serving as the club’s general manager, will take over as head coach. Chapman, a member of the club’s original coaching staff in 2009, is also the men’s coach at Peninsula College.

MacDonald, who played his first season with the Pumas in 2003, will serve as Chapman’s top assistant. P.J. Stickney will also serve as an assistant coach.

Pumas indoor team seeking division title

February 8th, 2014 by jeff graham

The Kitsap Pumas roll into the weekend looking to add some hardware.
The Pumas can clinch the Premier Arena Soccer League’s Northwest Division-North title with a win Saturday on the road against the Arlington Aviators.
Kitsap is in first place with a record of 7-1. Arlington is 6-1-2.
On Sunday, Kitsap finishes out the regular season against Snohomish on the road.
Both weekend games are 7 p.m.
The PASL’s playoff format has yet to be decided.

Pumas shut out of All-Conference team

July 31st, 2013 by jeff graham

The 2013 season was the first time the Kitsap Pumas failed to make the postseason in the Premier Development League. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise then that no Pumas made it on the PDL’s All-Western Conference team (another first). Here are the all-conference teams.

Pumas getting new division foe in 2014

July 19th, 2013 by jeff graham

Here is a story about a new team — Lane United FC — joining the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division next season. Lane United FC is based in Eugene, Ore. With eight teams in the division, that should mean each teams plays every opponent twice. This season, the Pumas played four teams twice and two teams (Portland and Washington) three times.

Who deserves to be Pumas’ team MVP?

July 19th, 2013 by jeff graham

Usually that’s a question left for later in the summer, but with the Pumas missing the playoffs for the first time after a fifth-place finish in the PDL’s Northwest Division, it’s a topic worth discussing now.

So who gets the nod? Is it Neil Shaffer, who led the team with five goals and — somewhat out of need due to injuries — became a dependable performer at right back? What about defender Brandon Scott, who started every minute of every game? Or Kasy Kiarash, who scored four goals in eight games after missing the early part of the season with an ankle injury?

Pumas coaches talk about Portland “head-hunting” game

June 28th, 2013 by jeff graham

Here is my story on the Pumas submitting a letter to the Premier Development League, claiming that Portland Timbers U23s coach Jim Rilatt directed his own players to target and hurt Kitsap players during last Friday’s game in Portland.

A Kitsap fan asked me to inquire about what went down at the game, which featured eight yellow cards, four red cards and saw both Rilatt and Pumas coach James Ritchie get ejected late in the second half.

Ritchie told me on Wednesday about overhearing Rilatt’s instructions during the game. On Thursday, assistants Andrew Chapman and Dustyn Brim shared similar details of the incident. Both said they’ve never heard of a soccer coach blatantly calling for what Brim described as “head-hunting” of players on the other team. The fact that Rilatt openly directed his players to commit hard fouls — and then applauded them when the fouls were committed — struck Brim as bizarre.

Chapman, who wrote the letter, said he wanted to make sure the incident was put “on file” with the league office.

Pumas reach loan agreement for Truax

June 13th, 2013 by jeff graham

The Kitsap Pumas are bringing back one of their top players from the 2012 season.
Kitsap has reached a loan agreement with the Carolina RailHawks for forward Ben Truax, who scored eight goals for the Pumas last season.
Truax is in town and should be available to play Saturday when Kitsap (1-2-4) faces Portland at Gordon Field at 7 p.m.
“He’s ready to go,” Pumas owner Robin Waite said.
Truax didn’t make an appearance this season with the RailHawks, who play in the North American Soccer League, one level below Major League Soccer.

Pumas head coach Ritchie sick of ties

June 11th, 2013 by jeff graham

The good news is that in seven games, the Kitsap Pumas have lost only twice.
The bad news is that the Pumas only have one win over that same span of games.
“I’m sick of ties,” Kitsap coach James Ritchie said on Monday, two days after his team recorded its fourth consecutive tie with a 2-2 result against Vancouver. “It’s number one in the nation.”
Kitsap (1-2-4) is the only Premier Development League with four ties. FC Tucson and CFC Azul each have three.
Against Vancouver, Kitsap outshot the Whitecaps 15-4. Vancouver goalkeeper Simon Thomas made several outstanding saves, including three in the final 10 minutes, Ritchie said. Kitsap also hit the crossbar.
“I think we were really the better team,” Ritchie said. “We just came up against a goalkeeper who was on.”
Note: Defender Marc Tonkel has joined the team and is expected to be eligible to play Saturday against Portland at 7 p.m. Tonkel formerly played for the Timbers U23s.

Must-win game for Sounders U23 vs. Pumas?

May 24th, 2013 by jeff graham

Last week’s game against Washington Crossfire was considered almost a must-win for the Kitsap Pumas after the team opened the Premier Development League season with two losses to Victoria and Vancouver.
Kitsap beat Crossfire 1-0 to earn three points and the Pumas find themselves tied for third place in the Northwest Division behind Victoria (3-0) and Portland (3-0).
Hosting the Pumas on Friday at Curtis Stadium at 7 p.m., the Sounders FC U23 could view the game as must-win. The team has already lost to Portland and Victoria and certainly doesn’t want to start the season 0-3.
The Sounders might be a tired group facing the Pumas having played four games since May 14. On Tuesday, the Sounders lost to the Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.