Monday, November 17, 2008

'Waite' is over in Kitsap; Pumas will prowl Bremerton in 2009

Glass door entry to Kitsap Pumas offices.

Bremerton, WA - The Kitsap Soccer club today announced fans have voted in the club name "Pumas" for the team that will kick off its first season in 2009.

Lucita Flores-Alvarenga, who voted for "Pumas" in the recent online name the club contest, was on-hand to receive the first two season tickets in club history. The announcement, held at the club offices, was attended by Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman, city council members, local soccer officials, fans, media and businesses.

Guests sign book as they enter before the announcement.

The club colors of blue, black and gold were displayed using a new logo for the club's mascot, "Pedro the Puma." An official club logo will be designed by Sungrafx of Silverdale, WA, and will be announced at a later date. The club will wear jerseys 'hooped' with blue and white, and blue shorts.

Shortly after the announcement the club sold its first six season tickets.

Talk about the club & the name "Kitsap Pumas" in the GOALKitsap Forums!

Kitsap Pumas will play in the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League of the United Soccer Leagues. Pumas will play clubs in Vancouver, Victoria and Abottsford BC, Spokane and possibly Yakima, WA, and Portland and Salem Oregon. Kitsap Pumas' closest rivals will be Tacoma Tide FC, who will play in the same division a mere 30 minutes to the south.

Pumas' offices full of excited supporters.

Owner Robin Waite and club Executive Director Ben Pecora spoke to the audience about the journey to founding, and then naming the club. Waite revealed hopes to host a "Kitsap Challenge Tournament" next season at the club's home, Bremerton Memorial Stadium. The tournament would feature out of state competition playing the Pumas.

Waite and Pecora are leaving in a few days for the United Soccer Leagues annual meetings. There the club will build its schedule and network with other clubs.

Robin Waite (left, owner) Lucita Flores-Alvarenga (ticket-winner) and Ben Pecora KSC Executive Director.

Waiting game pays off

Robin Waite first looked into bringing professional soccer to West Sound back in late 2005. It was a bit less than two years after Seattle Sounders co-owner Adrian Hanauer's initial bid to bring Major League Soccer to Seattle had been edged out by Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. As one of the owning 'partners' of the United Soccer Leagues Sounders, Waite was given permission to explore moving that club to Kitsap County. Initially Waite looked at the Kitsap Fairgrounds stadium site for a possible move. The county even spent money to look into design ideas to make the rodeo and car derby venue work for soccer.

Not the final logo: This is the mascot, Pedro the Puma. Waite says the final club logo might honor Chief Kitsap.

Later Waite took his search to Poulsbo, where he commissioned a stadium design on land he owns near the Wal-Mart complex and a satellite Olympic College campus. (See the GOALKitsap Museum page for more on this.) While Adrian Hanauer was successfully teaming up with new investors to bring MLS to Seattle, and thus doom the USL Sounders to extinction, Waite turned his focus to the largest city in Kitsap County, Bremerton. There he found willing city and school officials and a centrally-located venue in need of some TLC. Memorial Stadium has long been the home of the Bremerton High School Knights and the Olympic College Rangers. It has also seen semi-pro football when the West Sound Orcas played there a few years back.

Waite has been dealing with USL officials about how to 'transfer' the existing Sounders franchise while at the same time talking with Bremerton people about using Memorial. Waite's ambitions were high from the start: he wanted the USL Sounders to come over as-is and play in the top level of the league. That became a tough sell among other USL First Division club owners, some of whom reportedly balked at the idea of Kitsap being 'major league' enough for the still-minor league USL-1. In the end the league decided to grant Waite a Premier Development League (PDL) franchise in the third level of the league structure. Waite immediately went on record as saying his goal is to move the club up to the next-highest level (USL-2) as soon as other clubs on the west coast are ready to join the same division.

It's been quite a wait for both Waite and the Kitsap soccer fans who have been following the saga for over three years. In 2009 Seattle Sounders FC will kick off in Major League Soccer at Qwest Field. A few minutes west by air, but an hour by ferry, the Kitsap Pumas will also debut.
Tacoma Tide FC sit ready to take on the Pumas in the 'Narrows Bridge Bell' rivalry cup next season.

East, South, West...Puget Sound has arrived as the 'Sound of Soccer.'

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Around the Sound of Soccer for November 13th

The Youth Media Institute in Seattle produced this soccer PSA.

It continues to amaze me that there is enough (pro) off-season soccer news in the Puget Sound area to run and have frequent content on three area blogs. Just this week Tacoma Tide FC published another player update and then issued a new 'toolbar' for supporters to use on their web browsers as a way of supporting the club.

Over in West Sound Kitsap Soccer Club will reveal their name, crest and club colors on Monday November 17th. got a sneak peek at the colors and updated its look.

Seattle, HQ for the "Sound of Soccer," continues to churn out the news. Sounders FC held their first open tryouts in Spokane last weekend. This week the MLS club announced they will be debuting their new uniforms at a benefit fashion show on December 4th. The club website also took a look back at the first year of developing SSFC, and visited with GM Adrian Hanauer.

Beyond the pros, the college seasons are heading towards their playoffs. The Seattle Pacific Women and Western Washington Women will be in Seattle (Interbay) for the West Regionals the 13th-15th.

The Washington Women will be in Texas this Friday to play LSU in the NCAA's.

In North Sound, Matt Pele was named GNAC Player of the Year for Western Washington's Men, and Viking head coach Travis Connell was awarded Coach of the Year honors.

In South Sound the UPS Loggers Women earned a bye into the playoffs and will host a match this Sunday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tide toolbar supports Tacoma's club

From Tacoma Tide FC:
We are thrilled to share with you our Tacoma Tide F.C. Toolbar. It will serve as a new way to generate revenue. With this Toolbar we will raise much needed funds for Team Travel & Club Development, and you don’t have to pay anything!
This Toolbar will not replace your existing toolbar. The features on the Toolbar are all designed to help us raise funds in a non-intrusive way. Also, it is designed to make your life on the internet easier. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU. There are no pop-ups, adware, spyware or tracking and we also respect the user’s privacy. It is easy to download…just click on the link below.
(you may have to hold CTRL while you click on the link. )
· Whenever you do an internet search initiated from our toolbar and click on a sponsored link amongst your search results, the Tacoma Tide makes $.10 for that click; with no purchase necessary.
· The sponsored links are anything listed in the shaded area with bullet points or anything listed on the right side of the page. (see example below)
· These organizations pay to be in these spots and want you to click on their site to get information from them; they pay to be there because they want the traffic and exposure. You pay $0.00

Performing 2-5 searches a day on something you are interested in and clicking on sponsored links, because those links help you with the information you are looking for, will help us reach our goals faster! This should only take 5 minutes. It’s that EASY!
The Tacoma Tide F.C. is proud to have you as a Supporter! We hope you are equally proud to have our toolbar on your computer. Please feel free to share this toolbar with your friends and family so they can help the Tacoma Tide organization continue to better soccer in the Puget Sound.

1. Download the toolbar.(quick & easy)
2. Search from the toolbar.(type in whatever you’re interested in)
3. Click on the sponsored results. (no purchase needed)
4. You have just raised money for the Tacoma Tide F.C. ! (for FREE)

Jon Billings
Tacoma Tide F.C.
Director of Communications

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Portland will join PDL in 2009

The Portland Timbers announced today that they will field a club in the Northwest PDL in 2009. See the press release here.

It remains to be seen if the new Timbers U-23 will play Tacoma Tide FC, but chances are good that they will. The PDL is also expected to add Kitsap next Monday, and have already added Victoria. Further, the Yakima Reds may not be gone after all. The link above mentions them as still part of the NW division, and we've heard rumblings that they may rise from the grave.

The 2008 NW division had eight clubs, with TFC finishing in first place. Will the Tide's division have eleven clubs next year? We should know more after the league meetings in a few weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kitsap Soccer Club announced November 17th

The day for officially announcing the birth of the Kitsap Soccer Club through United Soccer League offices is set for Monday, November 17th.

Read the scoop in our GOALKitsap blog!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Could Tacoma jump up to USL-1?

Last summer Sounders FC GM Adrian Hanauer told me 'talks were underway' to keep 'the Sounders/USL' alive somewhere in Puget Sound. I just assumed it was the Kitsap club that former Sounders' owner Robin Waite hopes to debut around November 12th.

However, someone outside of our area has sent me a tip that the current USL Sounders might be a relocation candidate, according to murmurs from the league office in Tampa.

While Hanauer couldn't own a USL club (MLS rules), he certainly could push investors Tacoma's way. Further, TFC have been looking at a venue (Mt. Tahoma Stadium gallery index) that would get closer to USL-1 standards, and Sounders FC would benefit from a club staying in the area and developing a player exchange policy.

Mt. Tahoma Stadium seats 5,000.

Further, Kitsap owner Robin Waite recently told me that 'the league is currently deciding' who gets USL-1 rights to Puget Sound.

So, there are indeed some elements suggesting the current Seattle USL-1 club might be looking into relocating to Tacoma.

We'll know more when the league meetings happen at the end of November, I'd guess.Could it happen? Could Tacoma support such a high level of pro soccer?

Talk about it in the GOALTacoma forums!