Playoffs await Pumas

TACOMA — In the last match of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League regular season, the Kitsap Pumas wanted to go out on a high note.

Instead, two late goals put a damper on an otherwise smooth 4-3 win over the Tacoma Tide.

“They (the Tide) started talking trash and we got mixed up in it and we can’t afford to do that. On the free kick I was trying to talk to our boys to get them set up on the wall and they were too busy (arguing with the Tide) to even listen to me,” Brim said. “We should have sealed the game up. (The score) should have been 4-nil.”

Bremerton native Kyle Johnson scored in the 16th minute, his third goal of the season, on a cross from Mark Conrad, tapping it past the near post with his right foot.

Tony Kerr, who sat out Saturday’s match due to a red card suspension suffered a week ago, stepped up in his return to the lineup, filling the shoes of leading scorer Stephen Phillips, who was suspended due to a red card he received July 17 against Victoria in the Pumas’ 2-1 loss.

“The first one was a really good team goal,” said Kerr, who finished the regular season with seven goals. “We had a few passes interchange and managed to get the ball out to the right. When Mark had it, everybody ran near post so I thought ‘OK, I’ll try and stay out on the far post.’”

Alex Megson rounded out the Pumas’ scoring in the 49th minute.

Up next for the Pumas, who were the first club in the 68-team PDL to clinch a playoff spot, is the postseason. They will host the winner of yesterday’s Seattle-Portland match, from which results were unavailable at press time. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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