By Rob Shore
The Kitsap Pumas announced on Wednesday the signings Brian Charles and Sam Gomez for the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.
Both players come to the Pumas by way of Cal State Bakersfield. Gomez, a native of Silverdale and a Central Kitsap High School alum, just completed his junior season for the Roadrunners; Charles made 34 appearances and three starts in his career for the school.
Charles returns to Kitsap after playing for the team in 2017, a season that saw the midfield start as the squad’s leading attacking threat, but missed time with injuries throughout the season.
“Brian had a rough season last year,” Pumas head coach Liviu Bird said. “We asked him to play out of position to fill a need, which he did competently and without complaint, and then he picked up an ankle injury he never quite recovered from.”
Charles finished with two goals, including a late strike in Kitsap’s 4-2 season-ending loss to CD Aguilochos in San Leandro, Calif.
“He scored a rocket of a goal in our playoff loss at Aguiluchos,” Bird said. “Coming back fresh this year, we’re looking for him to make much more of an impact.”
Gomez has been a mainstay for Cal State Bakersfield, starting in all of the Roadrunners’ 36 matches over the past two seasons. Last summer, he played for San Diego Zest in the PDL.
He also previously played in the Seattle Sounders’ academy system and spent the spring of 2015 in camp with the Honduras U-20 squad.
“Sam is a local player we tried to sign last year as well, but we’re glad to bring him home to Kitsap County for the summer,” Bird said. “We don’t get a lot of high-level players from this area, but we are happy to be able to showcase them whenever we can, and Sam is a great example of that.”
Training for the 2018 Kitsap Pumas’ season begins on April 30.