Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pumas add eight players to official roster

Today, Kitsap Pumas coach James Ritchie confirmed the signing of eight players: Daniel Fabian, Sam Zipperstein, Enrigue Hidalgo, Justin Robbins, Jarrett Robbins, Danny Medina, Drew Jensen and Ben Truax.

Here’s the story for Wednesday’s edition.

Note: Truax is a late addition to the signing list (someone astutely pointed out his name was on the team’s roster on the PDL site).

Talked with Kitsap owner Robin Waite tonight (he verified the signing) and he compared Truax to former Pumas forward Bryan Burke, who was a tireless worker in the offensive end last season.

Waite said the team is still looking to hire a handful of players and would like to add at least one more forward.

Below is a list of players currently under contract. As you can see, the team has plenty of defenders and midfielders.

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Bird’s Blog: One week down

The first week of preseason is always the hardest. Sure, we’ve been playing in the offseason, and we’ve kept ourselves in decent shape over the winter, but there’s nothing quite like the open expanses of a 120 x 70-yard piece of turf to make a player feel inadequate.

Distances are larger, we have to keep moving, and we have to get used to playing with a new team again. So the first week is all about getting reacquainted with the rhythm of the game.

We get a lot of touches on the ball, play a lot of possession to learn our teammates’ tendencies and preferences, and do a fair amount of fitness work.

The other part of the first week is a little off-field prep work we have to get out of the way before the season starts. Because of that, I found myself at West Sound Orthopaedic yesterday, taking the ImPACT concussion test and getting a pretty thorough physical exam.

My results are about what I expected: My brain is fine, but my body is broken. It makes sense when you think about it; any player is bound to be hurt if he is crazy enough to throw himself in front of a speeding soccer ball, as goalkeepers do, instead of getting out of the way. The only remaining question is: How did I score so well on the concussion test?

Anyway, after a lot of poking and prodding from the doctors, I was cleared to play this season.

This upcoming week sees us training four times and playing two games against a couple of premier men’s teams. We play Thurston County on Wednesday and Bellingham United on Saturday, both on the road.

It’s been a good first week, but we can’t wait to get on the field in May.


As always, comments, feedback, questions, and anything else you want to provide in the comments section are welcome. Ask away; I’ll do my best to answer. Also, follow me on Twitter and check out my blog.

More signings expected in next few days

I’ve been working on a couple other stories today and have been out of the office (that’s right, I’m not all Pumas ALL the time), but coach James Ritchie did tell me Thursday that the club will have news on more signings pretty soon. There are some guys in camp who are still waiting to be signed or waiting for their paperwork to clear, so we’ll just have to be patient.

The club does still have three overage spots available, but the Pumas are still exploring some options, so those might not be filled for a while.

Here is a piece of info regarding a signing courtesy of our friends at

I’ll be running things in the office Saturday, but if I hear about any more signings, I’ll put ’em up here.

Question — who should start in net for Pumas?

I’ll have a Pumas story running this weekend about the battle over the Pumas’ starting goalkeeper position, but thought I’d share a bit of the story here….

Dustyn Brim is trying to work his way back from a career-threatening injury.
Zac Lubin is trying to get his career moving forward.
Both want to be the starting goalkeeper for the Kitsap Pumas when the defending Premier Development League champions open the season May 4 at Vancouver.
There’s no room for two at No. 1 — so who’s it going to be?
“We know it’s going to be a war,” Brim said during practice this week. “It’s guns blazing, dude.”
Lubin feels the same way.
“I’m battling,” he said. “I’m not going to let up.”

If the season started today, I’d say Lubin would probably be the pick since he’s in better shape and isn’t working his way into form following back surgery, which Brim had twice last year. But Brim is the one with more starting experience, having been the Pumas’ No. 1 guy in 2009 and 2010.

Fans, what do you think? Let me know what you think….

Pumas talk chemistry during Tuesday practice

After a three-day weekend, I’m feeling refreshed. I’m working another soccer-related story for Friday’s paper on Port Angeles High boys coach Chris Saari, who had a brief career with FC Seattle and the Tacoma Stars in the early 90s.

But I stopped out at Pumas’ practice Tuesday morning and wanted to share a bit of info:

The team had 14 players during the training session which featured mostly short-field action. During one drill, Kitsap coach James Ritchie split the team into two groups. The groups traded possessions, going 3 (attacking players) vs. 3 (two defenders and a keeper) with the objective to score.

The groups also scrimmaged with two-touch maximum rule (players had to pass the ball on their first or second touch).

The team added in some conditioning work in between drills and at the conclusion of the training session.

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