Photo by Michigan Bucks
In one of the most-anticipated matchups of the 2016 PDL regular season to date, 2014 PDL Champions the Michigan Bucks dominated 2015 PDL Champion K-W United FC. That win has guided the Bucks to a strong start this season, and sees them top the first edition of the Central Conference Power Rankings.
While the Canadian club lost that important game, K-W United has still looked impressive in its other outings, and follows close behind the Bucks.
Here’s the Central Conference’s Top 6:
1. Michigan Bucks
Last Week: L 1-0 at Dayton Dutch Lions
Not including their loss in Week 5, the Bucks have dominated the Great Lakes Division, even earning a 6-0 victory against 2015 PDL Champion K-W United. The Dayton Dutch Lions were able to take down the Bucks, but there are many talented players, such as Alhassan Abubakar and Russell Cicerone, who are likely to lead the Bucks to a title run in 2016.
2. K-W United FC
Last Week: W 1-0 vs. Cincinnati Dutch Lions
Aside from K-W United’s defeat to the Bucks, the Canadian side has been equally dominant in the Great Lakes Division. Captain Sergio Camargo leads the team in assists with three, while he, Austin Ricci and Sven Konig all have scored three goals so far this season.
3. Des Moines Menace
Last Week: T 0-0 vs. Kokomo Mantis FC
The Menace, currently second in the Heartland, have yet to suffer defeat this season, and have played two of the toughest opponents in the division. A 2-1 home win against the Chicago Fire U-23 is the highlight of the Menace’s season thus far. Elvir Ibisevic and Christian Okeke have been active for the club in their first three matches.
4. Chicago Fire U-23
Last Week: W 2-1 vs. St. Louis Lions; W 4-2 at St. Louis Lions
The Fire U-23s have turned the page ever since their season-opening loss to the Menace. They have scored 11 goals since that loss, defeating the St. Louis Lions in back-to-back meetings during Week 5. A recent win in the U.S. Soccer National Amateur Championship has also given the Fire U-23s an added boost to their 2016 PDL campaign.
5. Kokomo Mantis FC
Last Week: T 0-0 at Des Moines Menace
Mantis FC is 2-0-1 to start the regular season, and has yet to concede a goal. Xhovani Dokaj leads the team in goals scored after his hat-trick performance on May 23. While Mantis FC’s record and goal differential is impressive, the team has yet to face the Fire U-23s, who they will play next on Tuesday.
6. Derby City Rovers
Last Week: W 2-1 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23
The Rovers started their 2016 campaign later than most, but have gotten off to a good start. A 3-0 win in their opener against TFC Academy was followed up with another home win at Woehrle Field. Tough matchups that will truly test the Rovers lie ahead, including a road match against K-W United on Friday.