> Pumas, a team stocked with a mix of Madras, Redmond and Bend players coached by Jose Lopez, who also helps with the Madras High soccer program, ran into a tough foe Sunday in its Cascade Area Soccer Association (CASA) match.
Matched against the third-place The Storm team, Pumas fell 5-1.
Pumas, sponsored by Madras area merchants, will close its regular season against the first-place Deportivo Olimpia team on Sunday, July 27, at 2 p.m. in Bend.
Deportivo Jalisco, another Madras-based team in the CASA league, is in a battle for the fourth and final playoff position in the CASA championship tournament.
There will also be a consolation award tournament staged by CASA, which Pumas is in strong position to claim the top seed in.
The Storm led Deportivo Jalisco and Pumas, which both had 19 points in the league standings, by just one point headed into the July 20 matches. Beating Pumas put The Storm four points ahead of Pumas headed into the final week.
With The Storm thus out of reach for a spot in the upper tier of the playoffs, Pumas can only get in the playoffs if Deportivo Jalisco loses and it beats Deportivo Olimpia.
There is a strong Madras High connection on Pumas as the roster also includes Homero Lopez and Joey Lopez, a recent and present player, as well as coach Jose Lopez.