Roy Lassiter hired as Kitsap Soccer Club head coach

BREMERTON — Former United States international striker Roy Lassiter will be the head coach of Kitsap Soccer Club in its inaugural 2017 NPSL season, the club announced Jan. 30. Cameron MacDonald has resigned the position for personal reasons.

As a player, Lassiter set the single-season record for goals in a Major League Soccer season with 27 in the league’s first year in 1996, which has been equaled but not beaten in the two decades since. The three-time MLS All-Star scored four goals in 34 international caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team to go along with his 120 professional goals in 315 games in MLS, the A-League, Italy’s Serie B and Costa Rica’s Primera División.

“It’s a privilege to be part of Kitsap Soccer Club,” Lassiter said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to further my coaching experience at a higher level and assist players in reaching their next level of soccer success. I look forward to continuing the rich winning tradition that Kitsap has built over the years.”

Lassiter, 47, has spent the years since his playing career finished climbing the ladder of youth coaching in the U.S. He currently serves as director of coaching for Pacific Northwest SC in the Seattle area, as well as an assistant to Tab Ramos with the U.S. under-20 National Team. He holds an “A” License from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“We’re happy to welcome somebody with Roy’s qualifications and experience into the club,” owner Robin Waite said. “He’s proven himself to be a winner both as a player and coach, and we hope he’ll be able to guide our club to more success as we start our first season in the NPSL. When you look around the country, it’s rare to see somebody with his credentials coaching at this level.”

Former head coach MacDonald, 27, spent three years on the Kitsap SC staff, joining in 2014 as an assistant before taking over the head job the next year and leading the club to an undefeated regular season. Under his direction, more than a dozen Kitsap players have gone on to sign professional contracts at higher levels in the United States and abroad.

“I’ve loved my time at the club, and I’m proud of what we accomplished and the legacy of my time here,” MacDonald said. “However, I feel that this is the right move for my young family right now. I’m happy to leave the club in Roy’s hands, and I’m confident that it will only continue to get better under his leadership.”

MacDonald and his wife welcomed their second child over the winter, leaving the family with two children aged 2 and younger. Originally, MacDonald planned on staying at the club through the 2017 season, but an unexpected opportunity for MacDonald coupled with Lassiter’s availability for the job meant it made sense to make the change sooner.

“Cammy did a great job for us over the last three years, but we respect that his family has always been his top priority,” Waite said. “We wish him nothing but success, and we’ll fondly remember the undefeated regular season in 2015 and the U.S. Open Cup run in 2016 under his leadership.”

The rest of the Kitsap SC coaching staff, associate head coach Liviu Bird and assistant coach Cory Keitz, remains unchanged.

Kitsap SC will be holding its invitational tryout on March 11 and 12 ahead of the upcoming season. The tryouts, as well as training and home matches during the 2017 season, will be held at Gordon Field on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.