Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pumas sign midfielder Zack Mahon

Dealing with a rash of injuries, the Pumas added to their roster this week, signing midfielder Zack Mahon.

Mahon, who came to Kitsap on trial last week, played at Longwood University in Virginia. Here is is bio.

The Pumas, who are clinging to first place in the PDL’s Northwest Division, are coming off a disappointing weekend which included a scoreless tie against Vancouver and a 3-0 loss against Victoria.

Coach James Ritchie also could be without several starters when the Pumas host Washington on Friday. Central midfielder Matt Friesen is out with a knee injury (he could miss the rest of the regular season). The team’s other starting central midfielder, Eliot Fauske, is also out after receiving a red card against Victoria.

Ritchie said defenders Zack Sampson (ankle) and Danny Medina (knee) are also questionable to play.

Truax, Friesen, Miley carrying the load

This fact comes from super fan Chris Dixon, who is a number cruncher in his spare time:

The last 19 goals the Pumas have scored, 18 have been scored by Matt Friesen (8), Truax (6) and Miley (4). The lone exception is Zack Sampson last Friday night against the Sounders U23.

Friesen, who has seven goals in PDL play, also scored in the Open Cup game against Cal FC, so he technically is the team’s leading goal scorer (Truax also has seven goals in PDL play).

What do you think? Is it time for some other players to start finding the back of the net? Or do you want to see Friesen and Truax continue to battle it out for the scoring lead?

All you want to know about Ben Truax

Here is the story I wrote about Kitsap Pumas forward Ben Truax today. I went out to training on Monday to catch up with Truax, who’ll lead his team into action Friday against the Sounders U23s at Cheney Stadium.

Wanted to share some random notes about Truax that didn’t make the story.

Truax doesn’t know how fast he is, but he did run the 100, 200 and 400 in high school as a freshman. The sport didn’t stick.

“Hated it,” he said.

Truax knew the Pumas won a PDL title last year before joining the team, right?

“I had no idea,” he said. “Then I looked them up (online) and said, ‘Wow.'”

On playing for the Pumas and meeting new teammates:

“It’s pretty cool because you get to experience a lot of different people that you wouldn’t normally see in Ohio. Just a lot of different walks of life.”

Truax studied accounting and finance at Walsh University in Ohio. He’s nearly graduated….nearly.

“I’m on the four and a half year plan,” he said. “I plan on going back next fall.”

On his high work rate, which he said coaches stressed to him as a younger player:

“They said, ‘If someone is better than you, you’ve just got to work harder and that will help you make up for a lot of things.'”


Bird’s Blog: What we can learn from Cal FC

(Sorry for my lengthy absence. School is drawing to a close, and with that comes all the drama of making sure I’m set to graduate next week. As always, if you desperately need to read something I write, you can follow me on Twitter.)

When we lost to Cal FC in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup, we were a little more than disappointed to get bounced out of the tournament by an amateur team. Watching that team beat the Portland Timbers threw that disappointment into a little bit of a different perspective. It still burns, but it’s nice to see an amateur team shaking up the tournament early on.

As a soccer country — to the extent that the U.S. is one of those — we learned a few lessons from watching Cal FC’s run. Here are three:

• That could have been the Kitsap Pumas. Selfishly, this is why Cal FC’s run was painful to watch. Had we figured out how to get past them, we could have been the team that knocked out a USL team and an MLS team. This is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but it’s relevant to the team and its fans nonetheless.

• MLS teams need to step up their Open Cup game. You can’t say Portland wasn’t trying to win its game against Cal FC. Based on injuries and other availability issues, the Timbers put out a full-strength lineup. However, regardless of how serious Portland may have taken that game, it’s obvious that the tournament just isn’t that important to a lot of teams. The players on the field may catch some of that league-wide general feeling and end up playing poorly because they just don’t care. One team that does take the Open Cup seriously is Seattle, which put an end to Cal FC’s run last week. The Sounders have their fourth Cup title firmly in their sights.

• The difference between the lowest and highest levels of U.S. soccer isn’t that large. This is the most contentious point I’ll make, and it’s certainly not true for every player toiling in the U.S. Adult Soccer Association, PDL or USL, but the difference between players who make a living playing soccer and those who do it for fun (or peanuts) is sometimes minimal. Looking at the Cal FC squad, forward Artur Aghasyan played with Real Salt Lake for a short time last year. Closer to home, Bryan Meredith now starts in goal for the Sounders after being with Kitsap last year. There are plenty of other players in the PDL Northwest Division who could do just fine in MLS.

Did Cal FC’s success mean anything to you as fans? What key points did I not touch on here?