As Kitsap Pumas owner Robin Waite put it to staff writer Jeff Graham, “You don’t want to put the soccer ball before the net (translated, you don’t want to put the cart before the horse),” but I was surprised to read on my day off that if the Kitsap Pumas beat the Real Colorado Foxes in a U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday in Bremerton, that it won’t host a third-round game against the MLS’ Seattle Sounders.
It was my understanding that the lower seeds in this tournament got a chance to bid on hosting the game.
Waite told Graham he wasn’t happy that the game will be played at Starfire. And for good reason.
“To my way of thinking, that takes a way from the game. In the FA Cup, all the lower teams host,” he said.
“If the Sounders came over here to play us, it would be the biggest thing that ever happened to soccer in Kitsap. There would be 5 or 6,000 people there. If you go to Starfire, there will be 3,500 and half of them would be our fans.”
The Pumas-Colorado winner will play the Sounders at the Star Fire complex in Tukwila on Wednesday, June 29. Expect a Sounders’ contingent to be in the stands at Bremerton Memorial Stadium on Tuesday.
“I think a bunch of us will be over there scouting for what will be a big step toward trying to repeat and win the Open Cup again,” owner/GM Adrian Hanauer said. “We obviously know Kitsap quite well, but we don’t know the Colorado team very well. We know what type of game we’re probably in for, but it will be good to get over there and check it out and see the atmosphere and see some old friends with Kitsap.”
Waite and Hanauer were both part of the Sounders’ ownership group when the team played in the United Soccer Leagues. In addition, Pumas coach Peter Fewing is part of the Sounders’ broadcast team.
Now, it’s just a matter of getting a win over Colorado to earn their dream shot of upsetting the big-city Sounders … on their turf.
The lads need to heed Waite’s advice: “Don’t put the soccer ball before the net.”
Meanwhile, the Pumas remain unbeaten in Premier Development League play, going to 8-0-1 with a 3-1 win over Abbotsford on Friday.