BREMERTON, Wash. — Liviu Bird will take over as head coach of the Kitsap Pumas for the 2018 season, the club announced today. Bird, 27, becomes the club’s head coach after playing for the team in 2009 and 2012 and serving as an assistant coach in 2016 and associate head coach in 2017.
“I’m extremely proud to coach a club that has been such a big part of my life, first as a player and then as an assistant for the last two years,” Bird said. “I’d like to thank owner Robin Waite for the opportunity, as well as the two head coaches I worked for in the past two years, Roy Lassiter and Cammy MacDonald. Without them, I would not be the coach I am today, and I owe both Roy and Cammy more than I can express.”
Bird joined the Pumas coaching staff two seasons ago and became an integral staff member of one of the nation’s most widely respected semiprofessional clubs. As head coach, he will oversee all aspects of club business, including recruitment of players, implementation of training, serving as the community face of the club, managing youth camps, facilitating player appearances and supporting matchday operations.
In 2016, Bird’s scouting efforts had a direct influence in the team’s defeat of the USL’s Sacramento Republic before facing the Seattle Sounders as the farthest-advancing Open Division qualifier in the U.S. Open Cup. In 2017, the club won the NPSL Northwest Conference championship and advanced to the second round of the national playoffs.
A proven developer of youth, collegiate, and semiprofessional players and teams, Bird also currently coaches at Seattle United and in the Washington Elite Player Development program. Following the completion of his online coursework, he will be awarded with his UEFA B License from the (Northern) Irish FA. Bird also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Seattle Pacific University. He currently lives in Bremerton.
“My goal will be to continue the proud tradition of success that we’ve enjoyed here since our first season in 2009, when I was a 19-year-old member of the training squad,” Bird said. “We’ve already started laying the groundwork for the 2018 season, and I’m excited to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
Roy Lassiter will not be returning to the club in 2018 due to his other coaching commitments.
Kitsap will be announcing its tryout schedule ahead of the 2018 season in the near future. The tryouts, as well as training and home matches during the season, will be held at Gordon Field on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.