Summer amateur power Kitsap folds after 10 seasons

The Kitsap Pumas, one of the most successful amateur summer programs in the country, is folding after 10 seasons.

Owner Robin Waite cited declining attendance as the reason for the move by the club based in based in Bremerton, Washington.

He told the Kitsap Sun the club needed to average ticket sales of 1,000-1,500 a game on its home field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, but it reported that attendance for the June 27 game against NPSL semifinalist FCM Portland was only 170.

Kitsap played in the PDL for eight years (2009-16) before moving to the NPSL in 2017. It won the PDL title in 2011 and finished second three years later. In 2016, the Pumas reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup after beating the USL's Sacramento Republic FC.

The club's coach was Liviu Bird, a former Sports Illustrated soccer reporter.

“I’m honored to finish as the club’s last head coach after beginning the journey with them in 2009 as an 18-year-old training player,” Bird told the club web site. “I’m sad to see a club that has been such a big part of my life disappear, but that can be the nature of the game in this country for smaller clubs such as ours.”
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