Tacoma, WA – On Saturday, May 19 the Sounders U-23 will complete a massive soccer day with the Narrows Bridge Rivalry against the Kitsap Pumas. The day includes the UEFA Champions League Final at noon, the Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at 2pm, and then the Sounders FC U-23 and Pumas match up at 7pm.
The Sounders FC U-23 enter the weekend with four points after a win and tie last weekend in Canada. The Sounders U-23 beat the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 with goals from Darwin Jones and Fernando Monge before earning a draw the following day against the Victoria Highlanders. Monge scored the lone goal for the Sounders U-23 against Victoria.
The Pumas, lost their opening match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-0, but bounced back with a 6-0 win over the Fraser Valley Mariners.
The Kitsap Pumas, the defending PDL champions, have seen some departures since last season, with championship game MVP Bryan Burke now playing for the Los Angeles Blues and goalkeeper Bryan Meredith with the Seattle Sounders FC. However, the club does return a strong group of players including Matt Freisen, who led the side with 19 points a year ago.
The match also kicks of competition for the Ruffneck Cup, for Washington based PDL teams. Here’s the official press release about the Ruffneck Cup:
GoalWA.net - Ruffneck Scarves and goalWA.net today announce the birth of the Ruffneck Cup, a derby rivalry cup between the Puget Sound’s Premier Development League (PDL) soccer clubs that will kick off this coming Saturday May 19 in Bremerton when the Sounders U-23 visit the Kitsap Pumas.
The Ruffneck Cup will be awarded to the local side that earns the most points in matches against the Kitsap Pumas, North Sound SeaWolves, Sounders U-23 and Washington Crossfire in league matches against each other.
“Ruffneck Scarves is very excited about getting involved with another great Northwest soccer rivalry and tradition,” says founder Jeff McIntyre. “We are always looking at ways we can get involved in our local soccer community, and what better way to show our support than to sponsor a local Puget Sound derby amongst four clubs that promote player development with a high level of competition.”
The winning side will hoist the 2012 Ruffneck Cup trophy and be awarded 100 exclusive Ruffneck Cup Championship Scarves.
The 2012 schedule of all Ruffneck Cup matches and updated standings are available by going to www.goalWA.net and clicking the “Ruffneck Cup” link.
“I was involved in the birth of the Cascadia Cup back in 2004,” says www.goalWA.net owner David Falk, about the Major League Soccer regional derby cup that has roots in the United Soccer League days for the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps. “More recently I helped Kitsap Pumas and Tacoma Tide supporters organize the “Narrows Bridge Bell,” which is retiring after three seasons. Now we have come full circle with all of our local PDL clubs being involved in a single derby cup for the first time. It’s just another sign of the growing interest in local soccer and soccer culture around the Sound.”
Ruffneck Cup Matches 2012
19…Sounders U23 at Kitsap Pumas, 7 PM
23…North Sound SeaWolves at Washington Crossfire, 7 PM
30…Kitsap Pumas at Washington Crossfire, 7 PM
1….Washington Crossfire at North Sound SeaWolves, 7:30 PM
3….Kitsap Pumas at North Sound SeaWolves, 3 PM
8….Washington Crossfire at Sounders U23, 7:30 PM
15…Kitsap Pumas at Sounders U23, 7:30 PM
20…Washington Crossfire at North Sound SeaWolves, 7:30 PM
29…Sounders U23 at North Sound SeaWolves, 7:30 PM
29…Washington Crossfire at Kitsap Pumas, 7:30 PM
1….North Sound SeaWolves at Kitsap Pumas, 3 PM
1….Sounders U23 at Washington Crossfire, 5 PM
6….Sounders U23 at Kitsap Pumas, 7:30 PM
11…North Sound SeaWolves at Sounders U23, 7:30 PM
The Sounders will host their inaugural home match as a member of the PDL on May 25 vs. Victoria at 7:30pm from Franklin Pierce High School. Tickets are available on SoundersU23.com for just $10.
Don’t forget that May 30 marks a historic day when the U-23s will play at Cheney Stadium. They will be the first team to play soccer in the renovated Cheney Stadium, and before the match fans will have the chance to meet and greet the Sounders Women including Team USA stars. Tickets can be found on SoundersU23.com.