BREMERTON, Wash. — The Kitsap Pumas have re-signed Connor MacMillan, the club announced today, pending league approval. The fiery and active midfielder appeared in eight games for a total of 202 minutes for the Pumas during the 2015 season.
“I am thrilled to be returning to Kitsap for the 2016 season,” MacMillan said. “I really like the Bremerton area and enjoy the awesome community support we receive for the Pumas. I look forward to contributing to the team offensively and helping the Pumas defend their division title and ultimately win the national championship.”
MacMillan, who relies on his technical ability and quickness to break down opposing defenses, just concluded his final year playing for the University of Fraser Valley in British Columbia.
During that time, MacMillan appeared in 53 games for the Cascades, netting 14 goals, including six game-winners, adding six assists. His outstanding individual play, especially in the playoffs this past season (three goals and an assist in three games) helped lead his team to their second straight Canada West bronze medal. His outstanding individual play also earned him Canadian Interuniversity Sport Player of the Week honors.
While MacMillan has certainly thrived on the pitch over the past few years, it was his intense work ethic and fierce competitiveness that propelled him to grow into the player he is now. After attending the Pumas tryouts in 2014 and failing to secure a professional contract, MacMillan didn’t let that disappointment dissuade him from continuing to grow as a player.
Growing up playing at the youth and semiprofessional level in his hometown of Chilliwack, B.C., MacMillan is no stranger to making the most of every opportunity.
While playing in the Pacific Coast Soccer Reserve League from 2010 to 2012 for Chilliwack, MacMillan began to make a name for himself when he was the league’s top scorer in 2012.
His excellent play in the reserve league resulted in him getting called up to play in the PCSL for the Chilliwack first team in 2012 and 2013, when they won the Bradner Cup, and for Abbotsford in 2014, when they won the SoccerCity Cup, before finally joining the Pumas in 2015. The PCSL is considered to be the premier summer league in the Canadian soccer pyramid and comprises elite Canadian players, much like its PDL counterpart in the U.S.
When I joined the Kitsap Pumas last summer, they had a very strong roster with experienced players, so I saw last season as an opportunity to work hard in training and show that I am capable of playing at that level.”
Although MacMillan was one of the final players added to the roster, his competitiveness in training on a daily basis allowed him to work his way into the starting lineup by the end of the season, which culminated in a stellar performance for the young Canadian against the Seattle Sounders U23s.
“It was a difficult experience, mentally, for me to have to work so hard for a spot on the roster, but that struggle really motivated me to train hard every day and improve my game a lot technically,” MacMillan said.
As he looks forward to the coming season, MacMillan hopes to use the experience and knowledge he gained last season to help him play an even larger role in the Pumas’ push to bring their second national championship to Kitsap.
Transaction: Kitsap Pumas sign midfielder Connor MacMillan on March 14, 2016
Born: July 16, 1993
Hometown: Chilliwack, B.C.
Acquired: Signed on March 14, 2016