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Victoria (ISN) – 2011 league champions the Kitsap Pumas will be in town Sun, May 27th to take on a determined Victoria squad who matched them game-for-game last season, including a play-off clinching 1-0 win against them at Royal Athletic Park, the Puma’s only loss of the season.

“Over the three seasons that I have coached the Highlanders, the Pumas have been probably the toughest team we face, year after year,” says Highlanders Head Coach Ian Bridge. “They consistently produce sides with a tough, physical style of play, though this season they will certainly be missing Coach Peter Fewing.”

This year, Fewing’s long-time assistant James Ritchie takes over the coaching responsibilities in Bremerton. With the Pumas since day one of the franchise, Ritchie knows the level of play in the PDL.

“His squad doesn’t look to have the same depth as last year’s championship side, but I know they will still have the Kitsap Pumas’ “bite” as part of their identity,” notes Bridge. “Midfielder Matt Freisen is one of those match-winning players that we will have to be aware of, denying him the time and space to make the big play.”

Looking for their first home win of the 2012 PDL season after tying their opening weekend matches against Seattle and Vancouver, the Highlander side are enjoying the great crowd support from their fans.

“Early season games are always a challenge, as players are coming together from different clubs and playing environments,” said Highlanders keeper Elliot Mitrou. “We are making progress and we can see improvement in every game.”