James Ritchie • Age: 27
December 11, 2008 · Updated 11:58 PM
• Playing experience: Paisley Thistle FC, Scotland; Benburb FC, Scotland; Missouri Valley College, USA; Glasgow Rose, Scotland; Glasgow Ams FC (U18), Scotland; St Peters FC (U16), Scotland; Clarkston (U 16), Scotland
• Youth coaching experience: Kitsap Pumas, USA, 2008-present; Bainbridge Island Youth Soccer Club, USA, 2008-present; JV Dennis Yarmouth HS, USA, 2007; Partick Thistle U14 Scotland, 2007-08; Paul Turners Ultimate Soccer Academy, USA, 2006-08; Hillington YC, Scotland, 2005-06
• Best part of working with youth? To see a young player grow in skill and confidence is very rewarding. It has always been my goal to develop the person as well as the player.
• Challenges of youth coaching? None, this is the best job in the world!
• Pumas’ role in developing youth soccer in Kitsap? To give every young player in Kitsap the opportunity to reach their potential within the game. That the youth of the Kitsap Peninsula shall be the main source of players for the first Pumas team.
• Differences between soccer in America and soccer in Scotland? The biggest difference without question is the mass drop-off in young players who leave soccer for other sports. In Scotland, soccer is life. Here, there are so many different choices.
• Favorite MLS team? New England Revolution
• Favorite soccer player? Kaka (I would love to see him in a Pumas jersey)
• Role model? Jose Mourinho. He is very charismatic and a great coach.
• Better on the pitch: Scotland or USA? I was at the match last time Scotland and USA met. That game ended 1-1. Being a proud Scotsman, I would have to back my own boys to sneak it by a goal.
• Kitsap living? I am staying in a great wee place called Bainbridge Island.
• Miss about Scotland? Haggis, Raith Rovers FC, the lassies, the Loch Ness Monster. There is no place like it in the world.
• Love about America? How friendly and kind everyone is. I’ve met many great people and forged lifelong friendships. The USA has become a second home to me.