Sean Okoli vs. Kitsap in the last meeting, on June 15 (photo by Chris Coulter, SoundersPhotos.com)
Tacoma, WA – First place will be up for grabs Friday night when the Sounders U-23 round out a four-match road trip in Bremerton against the Kitsap Pumas. The match will be played at Bremerton Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Two days later, they return home to Franklin Pierce High School to face the Fraser Valley Mariners at 2:00 p.m.
The Sounders U-23 come into the weekend on a three-match winning streak, having won all three on the road. The Sounders U-23 are in sole possession of second place in the PDL Northwest Division standings with 27 points and a record of 8-2-3. With three matches left in the regular season, the Sounders U-23 have clinched a playoff birth in their first season in the PDL.
With their playoff spot guaranteed, the Sounders U-23’s will have their sights set on winning the division. In their way, are the first place and reigning national champions, Kitsap Pumas. Adding to the drama on Friday is the fact that the Sounders U-23 suffered only two losses this season, and both have come against the Pumas.
Kitsap comes into Friday’s match following two home victories last weekend. The wins came against the Washington Crossfire FC and North Sound SeaWolves FC. With 29 points and a record of 9-3-2, the Pumas currently sit atop the division standings. Friday’s match against the Sounders U-23’s will be the fifth in a row at home for the Pumas, before they hit the road to finish their season against the Portland Timbers U-23.
The Sounders U-23 defense will face the league’s leading goal scoring tandem in Matt Friesen (10) and Ben Truax (7). The Pumas duo accounted for five of the six goals allowed by the Sounders U-23’s in their previous two matchups.
When the Sounders U-23 return home Sunday, they will face a young Fraser Valley Mariners team, who are currently at the bottom of the standings. In their previous meeting with the Mariners, goals by Aodhan Quinn and Fernando Monge helped earn the 2-1 victory. Fraser Valley has a record of 0-13-1, earning them only one point in league play.
All eyes will be on Friday night’s showdown in Bremerton. For live updates follow us on twitter @SoundersU23. For match-recaps, stats, and more, check us out online at SoundersU23.com.