Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics
Headlining the list of top PDL performers from Sept. 12-18 are two talents from the Pac-12 Conference.
Stanford’s Foster Langsdorf and California’s Christian Thierjung each had big weeks, scoring a combined 10 goals to help their programs record two wins each. Standout defenders in the PDL, such as Miles Robinson and Fernando Machado, also shined, while Michigan State and Des Moines Menace talent Jimmy Fiscus had strong performances in two shutouts but just missed the cut for this week’s honors.
The PDL Players to Watch list includes players named to and considered for the six 2016 PDL Top Prospects lists throughout the summer. More than 20 scouts across North America provided the PDL with valuable insight on players who were performing at the highest level within the league, possessed strong technical and tactical qualities and had the potential to play at the professional level. The Top Prospects list serves as a useful resource for professional clubs who are interested in identifying and scouting high-level performers.
The Burlingame Dragons FC talent was unstoppable in two games for the Golden Bears, scoring six total goals.
Thierjung, a senior from Dove Canyon, California, scored the second goal in California’s 2-0 win against PDL Player to Watch Elvir Ibisevic and Omaha. Thierjung then scored five goals, including four in the second half, to lead the Golden Bears to a 6-2 victory against Harvard at Goldman Field.
The junior forward, who played in five games for the Portland Timbers U-23s during the 2016 PDL campaign, was a dominant force for Stanford.
Langsdorf scored two goals in the Cardinal’s 3-1 win over Harvard on Friday before netting two more and providing one assist in a 4-0 victory against Omaha on Sunday. Named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2015, Langsdorf has six goals and one assist in seven games during the current college campaign.
"They're [PDL Player to Watch Corey Baird and Langsdorf] working off each other really, really well and are communicating," Stanford Head Coach Jeremy Gunn said after Sunday's match. "Friday was [also] electrifying with the two of them. They have great understanding, great movement and are very difficult to deal with. Hopefully they can move forward and the other players coming off the bench will look to really push them and keep competing for time."
After strong showings for FC Boston in the 2016 PDL season, Robinson played a major role in two Syracuse wins.
The sophomore, who has been pairing well with Kamal Miller on the back line, played all 90 minutes and helped the Orange shut down PDL Player to Watch Joseph Holland and Hofstra on Tuesday. The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defender then helped Boston College record another shutout – a 2-0 result on Friday. Robinson, who has two goals and one assist this college season, has helped the Orange to a 7-0-0 record.
The Midland/Odessa Sockers FC standout defender has been lights out to begin the 2016 college season.
Machado, who earned 2016 PDL All-Southern Conference Team honors after helping Sockers FC record six shutouts in 14 appearances, scored Oklahoma Wesleyan’s only goal in a 1-1 tie against John Brown (Arkansas) before netting another goal in an important 3-0 victory against Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
The Brazilian has also been named Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks.
The Lane United FC standout scored three goals to help Creighton improve to 4-1-1 in the college season.
Lennon, a senior who scored one goal in seven PDL games in 2016, netted the third goal in his program’s 3-0 victory against Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday. He then scored the second and third goals for the Blue Jays in the team’s 4-1 win on Saturday.
Fiscus, who finished 31st on the final edition of the PDL Top Prospects list, stood out for Michigan State in back-to-back shutout wins.
The junior defender played 90 minutes in each of the Spartans' victories – a 1-0 win over Oakland on Wednesday and a 1-0 win vs. Michigan on Sunday. Fiscus has played 540 minutes – a team-high – this college campaign, leading the Spartans to a 5-1-0 record.
Charalambous has shined for Butler since winning the 2016 PDL Championship with the Michigan Bucks.
The midfielder, ranked 36th on the final edition of the 2016 PDL Top Prospects list, scored the second goal in Butler's 3-2 win over Villanova on Saturday. Charalambous has scored three goals in six games, helping the Bulldogs to a 5-0-1 record.
The FC Tucson talent scored an important goal to keep Wake Forest undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Bakero, who scored one goal and provided two assists in eight games during the 2016 PDL season, netted a spectacular strike from 20 yards to help the Demon Deacons earn a 2-0 win against Duke. The junior also played 46 minutes in Wake Forest’s 0-0 tie against George Washington on Tuesday.