This week the Kitsap Pumas, who are a professional soccer club located in Bremerton, Washington, sent six standout players, including forward Mike Ramos, midfielders Nick Hamer, Joe Masumiya and Trevor Jensen, defender Jake Bond and goalkeeper Matt Grosey, to trial with the Oklahoma City Energy.
The Oklahoma City Energy currently sit top of the Western Conference of the USL-PRO with a record of 11-5-7 and are in pole position to clinch the conference title.
Kitsap had another successful season in the Northwest, finishing with a regular season record of 10-0-2 adding a 4th Northwest Divisional title and 4th consecutive Roughneck Cup to the clubhouse in the process.
Alongside giving elite college players and opportunity to stay fit and compete at a high level over the summer, the PDL allows players who have already finished their college careers a place to continue playing in front of many professional coaches and scouts. Fortunately for these aforementioned players the professional soccer sphere is growing each year presenting more and more opportunities to compete at a high level here in the states.
Kitsap, who have crafted a reputation for not only getting results in the PDL but also for producing players that can excel at higher levels, began to develop a relationship with Oklahoma City during their inaugural season in 2014.
Following the Energy’s first season as a USL-PRO side which concluded with the club missing the playoffs and finishing with a record of 9-14-5, the push to add talented players to fill out their roster led to James Ritchie, assistant coach with the Energy and former head coach of the Pumas, to tap a familiar source.
The Energy added two midfielders, Daniel Gonzalez and Jesus “Chuy” Sanchez, to their 2015 squad from the Kitsap roster that reached the PDL National Title game in 2014.
The former Kitsap standouts have made valuable contributions to the Energy’s quest for the clubs first ever USL-PRO title. Sanchez has featured in 19 games for Oklahoma City so far this season starting 17 of them in which he has scored two goals and had two assists while Gonzalez has appeared in 20 games including 9 starts and has two assists thus far. The positive impact Gonzalez and Sanchez have made so far this season have surely helped to pave the way for future Kitsap players to be scouted by this club as well.
“Danny and Chuy are two players that have excelled so far this season, and their success makes it a lot easier for the gaffer to trust me to bring in others because of that,” said Ritchie. “I worked with the Pumas for about six years so I know their organization pretty well. It is a great place for players to develop and we feel that judging by how well they played this year we should definitely take a closer look at some of the lads.”
This week is sure to be exciting for the club as their players have traveled across the country to be scouted by one of the top USL-PRO sides in hopes of furthering their professional careers.
The great opportunity these talented young players are receiving this week is an impressive measure of how far the Pumas have come over the past few years and will surely contribute to growing the club even larger in the future.