BREMERTON, Wash. — The Kitsap Pumas have signed former U17 U.S. national team winger Mikhail Doholis, the club announced today. Doholis trained with a number of Major League Soccer teams during his college career as well as attending the 2015 MLS Combine.
“I hope to showcase myself in a way this season that shows professionalism and enthusiasm on a daily basis,” Doholis said. “Having the Kitsap organization extend a spot to me allows me to get the development I need.”
While Doholis’ skill has certainly caught the eye of coaches at all stages of his career thus far, it is his passion for the game that truly sets him apart.
“I first started playing soccer when I was 4 years old,” Doholis said. “Ever since then, I have just always wanted to keep playing and keep getting better.”
After growing up competing for Eastside Liverpool, one of the top clubs in the Northwest, Doholis was invited to the U17 U.S. Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. Upon returning home, Doholis was tasked with the difficult decision of finding the best fit to compete at the collegiate level.
“The Oregon State head coach is a good friend of my high school coach, so back when I went to Residency, he came down to watch us play against Brazil,” Doholis said. “I really wanted to stay closer to home, and OSU just felt like a great fit on all levels, from soccer to academics.”
Doholis played four seasons for the Beavers, scoring six goals and adding nine assists. He helped lead his team to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014, a top-10 ranking in 2015 and received individual recognition in the form of a Pac-12 honorable mention his senior year.
After finishing his final season at OSU and attending combines for the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake, Doholis was invited to attend the 2015 league combine.
“The combine was a really good experience,” said Doholis. “Back when I was a kid, I remember all the parents sitting on the sidelines watching us play, and now I was getting to play in front of every MLS coach. Something like that really brings you alive as a player, and it was an awesome experience I will always remember.”
However, after going undrafted, Doholis found himself for the first time deeply questioning what the next move in his soccer career would be.
“The draft didn’t quite turn out how I expected it to, and missing out after I had been so close was really tough,” he said. “But the Pumas contacted me after that and expressed their interest in me. After that conversation, I knew it would be a great fit.”
Doholis plans to use the adversity he has experienced over the last couple months as motivation to continue to work even harder.
“I feel I can be a very exciting player to watch because of my aggressive style of play, and I am really looking forward to working with the coaches to get even better,” Doholis said. “I can’t wait to give back to the club for giving me this chance.”
Transaction: Kitsap Pumas sign midfielder Mikhail Doholis on March 22, 2016
Born: Jan. 16, 1994
Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed on March 22, 2016