David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Five clubs, five questions for 2009: Kitsap Pumas

The Puget Sound region will see more high level soccer than ever before in 2009. "The Sound of Soccer" will be bursting with elite-level clubs starting with Sounders FC in Major League Soccer, and continuing on with Tacoma Tide FC, Kitsap Pumas, and the yet-to-be-named Seattle club in Premier Development League. Our fifth club will be Seattle Wolves FC in the PCSL.

Sounders FC will have a roster of full professionals. Kitsap Pumas will pay their players and seek up and coming pros. Tacoma Tide FC will rely on elite college players who are in their schools' off-seasons. Seattle Wolves will look to former pros, college stars and local high-level players.

Over the next few days I'll be asking five questions about each club and then commenting on the questions. The anticipation is for building for 2009 and for a soccer-flooded summer around the Sound.

Five questions for Kitsap Pumas

After years of looking in to bringing the USL Seattle Sounders to West Sound, Bremerton ends up with a Premier Development League (PDL) club that has Sounders roots from owner Robin Waite. The Pumas have big goals, including moving up higher in the United Soccer Leagues division scheme, and hosting pre-season tournaments. Here are five questions about the Pumas that I'll be watching to be answered in their debut campaign.

1. Will Bremerton and West Sound support pro soccer?

Season ticket sales are apparently going well, and the ticket prices of $10-$8-$5 can't be beat. In the Northwest Division of the PDL attendance averages have quite a range from 90 to 400 or more per match. Kitsap's higher ambitions also mean the club wants much bigger numbers than that in the stands. Will it happen?

2. Will some 2008 USL Sounders migrate to this new team?

After the dust finally clears from Sounders FC training camp, I wonder if some local Sounders will consider coming over to Bremerton to play this summer. The money won't be great, but it could supplement youth coaching salaries.

3. How will Memorial Stadium work for pro soccer?

The Pumas will be the only club of the five (that we know of) who will play on a grass pitch at home. It is well-kept and thick. The field is very narrow and long, though. There are also neighborhood issues involving parking, which seem ready to be solved. The old place will also need some paint and polish before kick off.

4. How well will West Sound media cover the club?

The Kitsap Sun has covered the Pumas pretty well so far. Local weekly papers from Poulsbo to Port Orchard have also run numerous stories. Kitsap has a local radio outlet, and a Comcast cable channel (BKAT) for local shows. There has been some talk that the Kitsap Sun may work with the Pumas to stream matches online.

5. Will Pumas be competitive in their first season?

The Pumas will have the advantage of being able to pay their players and thus also being able to bring guys in who have professional experience. In 2008 the only 'pro' club in the PDL NW were the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency. Vancouver finished second to the first-place, all-college / amateur Tacoma Tide. Vancouver beat Tacoma in the playoffs. The Pumas will also have the advantage of practicing while college players are still with their schools.

Visit: www.KitsapSoccerClub.com

NEXT: Five questions about Tacoma Tide FC.

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