BREMERTON, WA — (club release) The Kitsap Pumas announced the re-signing of 2015 Premier Development League Goalkeeper of the Year and Most Valuable Player nominee Matt Grosey today. Grosey, who was the backbone of a Pumas defense that conceded the fewest goals in the 2015 PDL regular season, led his side to an undefeated 10-0-2 record in the Northwest Division.
“Playing for the Pumas has been a huge part of my life and professional career. They are a well-established program that gives players the platform to continue to develop,” Grosey said. “Not only has the club had a ton of success throughout its history, they have also helped a lot of players move up to higher levels, and hopefully, we can continue to do both those things next season.”
Growing up in San Mateo, California, Grosey attended West Valley College in Saratoga. West Valley is one of the premier junior college programs in the country, with a long tradition of success. During his two years at WVC, Grosey earned Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year both seasons and First Team All-Western Conference honors his freshman year.
After his two years of community college concluded, Grosey received a scholarship to play for the newly formed Division I program at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Once again, his outstanding play earned him all-conference honors, as he was named Second Team All-Conference in the Summit League both seasons at UNO.
“I always knew that I wanted to keep playing at the top collegiate level, so when I chose to come out to Nebraska, it was primarily for that,” Grosey said. “I knew that it was a new program, and I really wanted to do my part to help build it up to be one of the elite programs in the area.”
After Grosey concluded his collegiate career at UNO, he found himself undrafted and searching for a place to continue to develop his game. After his college coach proposed playing for Kitsap, Grosey wasted no time in taking the necessary steps.
“I spent a few years living in Olympia, Washington, as well as California growing up, so I already knew about the Pumas organization and how successful they have been in the past,” said Grosey. “When my college coach brought the Pumas up to me as an option to keep playing, I never had any doubts about pursuing that opportunity.”
After showing well in the tryouts, Grosey was immediately signed to the 2014 squad. That year, he played a pivotal role for the Pumas, starting 16 games and earning top-10 national rankings for minutes played, goals against, goals-against average and wins in the regular season.
His standout play in 2014 not only helped propel the Pumas to a Northwest Division title, a Roughneck Cup championship, a Western Conference title and PDL national finalist honors, but he also earned individual recognition for his standout play by making the PDL Team of the Week.
After re-signing for the 2015 season, Grosey’s intense work rate and dedication to improving continued to pay off, as he had an even better season than the previous. Grosey, who played every minute in goal in 2015, finished the regular season with a league-best 0.33 goals-against average. He also finished tied for the league lead with eight shutouts, as he conceded only four goals the entire regular season. His outstanding play earned him All-Western Conference honors, All-PDL honors, the PDL Goalkeeper of the Year award, and he was even nominated for PDL Most Valuable Player.
“I think overall, the season went really well,” Grosey said. “We were undefeated throughout the entire regular season and consistently showcased an entertaining brand of soccer for the fans. Even though we didn’t make it as far in the playoffs as we did the season before, we still had a lot to be proud of.”
After the 2015 season concluded, Grosey embarked upon a busy few months of traveling, as he had extensive trials in the USL, North American Soccer League and Major League Soccer throughout the country. However, after going unsigned, the young goalkeeper elected to return for a third season with the Pumas.
“The last two years have been amazing, but the way each one ended just short of a national championship, I can’t help but have a bit of a sour taste in my mouth,” Grosey said. “I can’t wait to get back in April and get started. I have a feeling this is going to be a good year.”
Grosey will be looking to finally lift that coveted PDL national title which has narrowly eluded him the past two seasons as the Pumas kick off their regular season on May 7 against the Victoria Highlanders at Gordon Field.
The Kitsap Pumas enter their eighth season in the Premier Development League (PDL) in 2016 after winning the Northwest Division for the fourth time in 2015. The Pumas won the PDL national championship in 2011 and advanced to the national final again in 2014, establishing themselves as a reputable professional club with a proven record of moving players onto the next level in the process. Kitsap plays its home matches at Gordon Field, an intimate 1,500-capacity stadium on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton, Wash.
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