The Yakima Reds (3-3), holding down fourth place in the Western Division of the USISL's Pro League, come into town after knocking off the division's first-place team, the Everett (Wash.) Bigfoot, last weekend.
The teams will play tomorrow at Aloha Stadium and on Kauai Sunday. No site or time for the Kauai game has been announced.
"If we can take two this weekend we'll move into fourth, and that's where we need to be to make the division playoffs," said Tsunami head coach Andrew Rowley.
The Tsunami are 2-3 in league play (2-4 if you count an exhibition loss last week).
They beat Yakima, 3-0, last year on the road. But the Tsunami lost six of their best players to Major League Soccer, including one of the USISL's top goalkeepers, Mark Dougherty.
Goal is an area that has been of grave concern this season to Rowley. In six games, Sander van Stiphout of the Netherlands has given up eight goals and newcomer Antone Gutierrez has yielded four.
But Rowley said he hopes to get an emotional boost between the pipes when his team takes the field at Aloha Stadium at 7:30 p.m. That's because Gutierrez will be facing his former teammates.
"I hope that he'll be pumped," said Rowley. "They (Yakima) might come in overconfident."
"It will be just fun to see him and play against him," said Yakima head coach Bryan McGinnis. "He may try to prove a point. I remember him as a goalkeeper who is strong on the ground, with fast reflexes."
Gutierrez played six games last year for Yakima and won two.
Hawaii is about to activate its newest acquisition in goal, 34-
year-old Chris Carniato, who has experience playing in second division Dutch soccer.
He'll be needed, because van Stiphout was involved in a bloody practice collision at the stadium yesterday with midfielder Cris Fisher. Fisher was going full-speed, one-on-one with Stiphout, and caught him in the head with a knee that sent the Dutchman crashing face-first to the turf.
He said van Stiphout suffered a concussion and needed a number of stitches in his head.
The Yakima striker that Gutierrez will be most concerned about is Eric Hildebrand, who has four goals. Hildebrand is a former Central University (Wash.) Division II All-American.
Rowley also will be looking for more offense this weekend. The Tsunami have scored only seven goals this season, and Pearl City's Jerry Proctor has three to lead the team.
"We'll be looking to Proctor, who plays real well on artificial turf," said Rowley. "He loves the crowd and he's fast."
But Rowley said Hawaii needs more than offense to get on track this year.
"We just have to play better defense, and look for opportunities when they're on," he said.
Hawaii hopes to get some additional firepower from newly signed central midfielder Manny Catano. The 22-year-old Catano originally was signed by Columbus of MLS, but was put on waivers when he got hurt.
Kurt Funkhouser, Hawaii's most consistent midfielder, is out with a back problem. Newly acquired striker Keith West, a former Cal State-Northridge standout, has a pulled groin muscle. Attacking midfielder Ramon Raya (Mexico) is out with a pulled quad muscle.
McGinnis said he has watched tape on the Tsunami and is not sure how much of a challenge they present this year. "To be honest, they're not as strong as they were last year," he said.
Admission for tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. game at the stadium is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 16. Children under 4 get in free.