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2017 Eastern Conference Championship Preview

07/20/2017, 3:30pm EDT
By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com

Phantoms face off against Eagles; Mutiny compete against Rough Riders

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Set to be hosted by South Georgia Tormenta FC in Statesboro, Georgia, from July 22-23, the 2017 Premier Development League Eastern Conference Championship will feature the Seacoast United PhantomsLong Island Rough RidersMyrtle Beach Mutiny and Charlotte Eagles.

The Phantoms enter the Eastern Conference Championship as the No. 1 seed after winning the 2017 Northeast Division title with an 11-1-2 record and after defeating Reading United AC 3-1 in the play-in match on Tuesday. They will face off against the Eagles, who return to the PDL Playoffs for a third consecutive year after finishing second in the South Atlantic Division and are seeded fourth to prevent an intra-divisional matchup in the semifinals, at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday (Watch Live).

The second-seeded Mutiny, winners of the 2017 South Atlantic Division title, will play the third-seeded Rough Riders at 6 p.m. ET on Friday (Watch Live). The Rough Riders finished second in the Northeast Division and then topped the New York Red Bulls U23 4-1 in Tuesday's play-in match.

The final will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday (Watch Live).

Seacoast United Phantoms vs. Charlotte Eagles

1. Seacoast United Phantoms

Head Coach: Alistar Bain
Location: Hampton, New Hampshire
First PDL Season: 2008
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2011, 2014-15, 2017
PDL Titles: Northeast Division Champions (2014, 2017)
Notable Alums: Anthony Grant (Richmond Kickers), Chris Tsonis (formerly Charleston Battery and New York Red Bulls II)
Notable 2017 Players: Donnett Sackie (Team-high 10 goals), Audi Jepson (No. 48 PDL Top Prospect), Terence Carter (Seven goals)


4. Charlotte Eagles

Head Coach: Dave Dixon
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
First PDL Season: 2015
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2015-17
PDL Titles: South Atlantic Division Champions (2015-16)
Notable Alums: Santiago Moar (Bethlehem Steel FC), Jaime Siaj (Charlotte Independence), Lalas Abubakar (Columbus Crew SC/Pittsburgh Riverhounds), Jared Odenbeck (Charlotte Independence), Austin Yearwood (Charlotte Independence)
Notable 2017 Players: Mutaya Mwape (No. 20 PDL Top Prospect), James Pyle (No. 25 PDL Top Prospect), Ryan Williams (No. 36 PDL Top Prospect)

Myrtle Beach Mutiny vs. Long Island Rough Riders

2. Myrtle Beach Mutiny

Head Coach: Kyle Russell
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
First PDL Season: 2017
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2017
PDL Titles: 2017 South Atlantic Division Champions
Notable 2017 Players: Tobenna Uzo (No. 18 PDL Top Prospect), Ricardo Gomez (No. 43 PDL Top Prospect), Ridge Robinson (One goal, two assists)


3. Long Island Rough Riders

Head Coach: Flavio Ferri
Location: South Huntington, New York
First PDL Season: 2007
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017
PDL Titles: Eastern Conference Champions (2011), Mid Atlantic Division Champions (2011)
Notable Alums: Ryan Meara (New York Red Bulls II), Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City), Mike Grella (New York Red Bulls), Joe Holland (Houston Dynamo), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Notable 2017 Players: Arthur Bosua (Team-high six goals), Daniel Bedoya (Five goals, three assists), Junior Rosero (Five goals, two assists)


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Tag(s): NEWS  Eastern Conference  Northeast Division  Long Island Rough Riders  Seacoast United Phantoms  South Atlantic Division  Charlotte Eagles  Myrtle Beach Mutiny