TAMPA, Fla. – Michigan Bucks standout Francis Atuahene is now atop the third edition of the Premier Development League Top Prospects list after former No. 1 prospect Darwin Espinal signed a professional contract with the United Soccer League’s Reno 1868 FC on Wednesday.
Atuahene, who competes for the University of Michigan, has shined for the Bucks in the PDL campaign and during the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In four regular-season appearances for the Bucks, the Ghanaian attacker has scored three goals.
Brian White, Tate Schmitt and Julio Moncada enter the top 20 for the first time this year. White, who plays for Duke University, currently leads the PDL in goals scored this season with 11 for the New York Red Bulls U23. Schmitt, who finished the 2016 PDL season ranked 10th on the PDL Top Prospects list and currently has two goals and one assist for FC Tucson, has impressed scouts in recent weeks. University of North Carolina at Wilmington talent Moncada leads the OKC Energy U23 in goals scored with seven and has also recorded three assists. Moncada can help the Energy U23 clinch the Mid South Division with a win against Mississippi Brilla FC on Saturday.
The PDL Top Prospects list debuted in 2015 and has identified and highlighted numerous Under-23 standouts within the league before the players made their professional debuts in MLS, the USL or around the world. Among the notable alumni named to the lists include Philadelphia Union talents Keegan Rosenberry and Adam Najem, Chicago Fire defenders Brandon Vincent and Jonathan Campbell, New York Red Bulls midfielder Arun Basuljevic, Toronto FC midfielder Sergio Camargo and Real Salt Lake midfielder Jose Hernandez.
Consisting of 24 scouts – including head coaches, technical directors and coaching directors – across North America, the USL Scouting Network provides the PDL with insight on players based on their performance in the PDL, their technical and tactical abilities and their potential to play professionally.
1. Francis Atuahene – Forward – Michigan Bucks
2. Ben Lundgaard – Goalkeeper – New York Red Bulls U23
3. Diego Campos – Forward – SIMA Aguilas
4. Bradley Dunwell – Midfielder – Michigan Bucks
5. Brian White – Forward – New York Red Bulls U23
6. Sergi Nus – Defender – Fresno Fuego
7. Jon Bakero – Forward – Carolina Dynamo
8. Martim Galvao – Midfielder – Nashville SC U23
9. Tanner Dieterich – Defender – Nashville SC U23
10. Amass Amankona – Midfielder – Dayton Dutch Lions
11. Paul Marie – Midfielder – Reading United AC
12. Chris Mueller – Midfielder – Chicago FC United
13. Nico Pasquotti – Midfielder – Calgary Foothills FC
14. Nikola Fimic – Defender – Ocean City Nor’easters
15. Biska Biyombo – Midfielder – SIMA Aguilas
16. Mutaya Mwape – Midfielder – Charlotte Eagles
17. Tate Schmitt – Forward – FC Tucson
18. Hugo Delhommelle – Midfielder – Reading United AC
19. Julio Moncada – Forward – OKC Energy U23
20. Callum Montgomery – Defender – Victoria Highlanders FC