Photo by Fresno Fuego
After an incredible season for the Fresno Fuego in the PDL, Christian Chaney has signed a professional contract with USL's Sacramento Republic FC on Friday.
The 22-year-old forward, who is ranked first in the sixth edition of the 2016 PDL Top Prospects list, scored 13 goals during the PDL regular season to lead the Fuego to a postseason appearance. He earned PDL All-Western Conference Team and All-League Team honors for his exceptional play.
“Christian proved himself as a perfect opportunist at the PDL level, scoring enough goals to propel himself to the top of the scoring charts,” Republic FC Director of Football Graham Smith said. “Our scouting and coaching staff watched him several times during the course of his season. Christian came on trial and was prepared to be assessed - always a positive sign of a player’s intent to succeed. He has a strong belief in his ability and is not frightened to work in those areas around the box that are so vital to a striker.”
“Together with the other young strikers at the club, Christian should benefit immensely from the vast experience of Carlton Cole,” continued Smith. “We now need to see whether or not he can step up to USL level and produce similar results. There are exciting times ahead for them all.”
The forward earned PDL Player of the Week honors once during the season, and he scored one goal in the 2016 PDL Playoffs. He finished just behind Ocean City Nor'easters forward Chevaughn Walsh for the regular season's Golden Boot award.
Chaney is the second PDL player to have signed with a USL club since the start of the 2016 season. Former FC Tucson standout Minh Vu joined Arizona United SC in June.
The dynamic forward has joined Republic FC, but he will not be available in the club's match against Saint Louis FC on Saturday.