Kitsap Pumas 4, Lane United FC 0
Lane United FC were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by last year’s national finalists and current PDL Northwest Division leaders Kitsap Pumas on Saturday night in Bremerton, Washington. The game did not start well for Lane United, who conceded a penalty, duly converted by Kitsap captain Cory Keitz, after less than two minutes. That penalty had come from the result of a misplayed ball by the Reds defense, and so did the second goal in the 18th minute, which Joe Masumiya and Logan Miller walked into the net after a turnover. Lane United were not able to pick themselves off the floor at that point, giving up a second penalty before halftime and then allowing Miller to score his second of the game a few minutes into the second half. Lane United head coach John Galas’ verdict was that his team was “second-best on the night. Unfortunately, our training, which was good in the lead-up, didn’t translate to the game.”
Galas questioned both penalty decisions, which seemed to have involved minimal contact or, at most, contact initiated by the attacker rather than Reds goalkeeper Matt Bersano, who committed both fouls. In the first incident, after 90 seconds, Bersano had been put in an unenviable position when Cristian de Luis slipped trying to hit a back-pass to him. Logan Miller raced in and went down under some sort of challenge, and Keitz converted a minute later. In the second, after 38 minutes, a ball was hoisted into the penalty area following a clearance from a Kitsap corner. With the Lane United back line all pushed up, Rene DeZorsi somehow snuck in onside, brought the ball down and pushed it around Bersano, again going down rather intentionally. Referee Ramy Touchan, who made the penalty call after hesitating, inexplicably did not also send Bersano off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity even though the goalkeeper’s foul fit every criterion for it. This raised the question of how much conviction Touchan had in his original decision. Regardless, Mike Ramos stepped up to the spot this time and buried another textbook penalty to put Kitsap up 3-0 and sailing smooth before halftime.
Galas did point out after the game that “regardless of the two penalty decisions, we were naive and we put ourselves in tough positions. Our possession was poor, and when we lost it (Kitsap) were able to run straight through the big gaps right in front of our back four.” The Pumas’ second goal bore that out, with the back of the Lane United midfield getting dispossessed no more than 40 yards from their own net and watching Joe Masumiya sprint into the Lane United area and square the ball for Miller to tap in easily. The Reds only threatened a few times themselves. Kitsap goalkeeper Matt Grosey’s most notable actions involved sprinting off his line to collect through-balls a few inches ahead of the Lane United forwards, but he was not forced into a save on the night. The typically stingy Kitsap defense did an effective job of containing the PDL’s third-leading scorer, Timothy Mueller, who despite an impressive work rate up front was finally held without a goal for the first time in six games in all competitions. The Pumas’ “management of the game and their organization, on the pitch, was top-notch, as you would expect from a professional club like them,” Galas said.
Lane United now have six days to recover before facing the Portland Timbers U-23s at home on Friday, July 3 in a late 8:00 pm kickoff.