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2017 PDL Season Preview

05/05/2017, 4:45pm EDT
By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com

72 teams across North America ready to compete in 23rd PDL campaign

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The 23rd Premier Development League regular season kicks off on Friday, with 72 teams across North America ready to compete for the league title this summer.

"I'm looking forward to kickoff of the 23rd season," PDL Director Todd Eason said. "We are excited to see North America's elite amateur players and future professional stars compete for the 2017 PDL Championship."

The proven developmental leader in North America, the PDL has been a stepping stone for professional players around the world, with nearly 70 percent of Major League Soccer SuperDraft selections since 2010 having PDL experience. Currently, more than 370 PDL alumni are registered in the United Soccer League, while more than 220 players are in MLS.

In addition to league play, a total of 21 PDL franchises – the most in league history – will participate in this year’s edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which begins on May 9.

The PDL season formally begins with a matchup between Calgary Foothills FC and TSS FC Rovers at 9 p.m. ET on Friday (Watch Live). The Fresno Fuego host Burlingame Dragons FC in Week 1's PDL Game of the Week, with kickoff scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (Watch Live). During the season, fans from across the United States and Canada can watch PDL streams via the Match Center.

The 2017 PDL Playoffs will start with play-in matches on July 18, while the PDL Championship will take place on Aug. 5.

2017 PDL Playoffs Format:

Eastern Conference

The top two teams from the South Atlantic Division automatically advance to the Eastern Conference Championship. The top two teams in the Northeast Division and Mid Atlantic Division advance to the play-in round of the PDL Playoffs, where the top team from the Mid Atlantic will host the second-best team from the Northeast, and vice versa. The PDL Playoffs play-in round will take place on July 18, while the Eastern Conference Championship be held from July 21-23.

Southern Conference

The top two teams in the Southeast Division and Mid South Division will advance to the Southern Conference Championship, which will be held from July 21-23.

Central Conference

The top two teams in the Great Lakes Division and Heartland Division will advance to the Central Conference Championship, which will be held from July 21-23.

Western Conference

The top two teams from the Southwest Division and the top team from the Mountain Division automatically advance to the Western Conference Championship. The top two teams in the Northwest Division advance to the play-in round of the PDL Playoffs, where the top-ranked team will host the second-best team from the Northwest. The PDL Playoffs play-in round will take place on July 18, while the Western Conference Championship be held from July 21-23.

Division Previews:

Power Rankings:

PDL Coach Spotlights:

More from the PDL:

PDL Around the Web:


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Tag(s): NEWS  Features  Press Release