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2017 Central Conference Power Rankings: Week 2

05/15/2017, 3:45pm EDT

Bucks win, remain No. 1; Menace begin play in Week 3

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The Central Conference officially kicked off in Week 2 of the 2017 Premier Development League regular season, as the Michigan Bucks and K-W United FC met on Saturday.

The Bucks, who won the 2016 PDL Championship, topped the 2015 PDL winner with two late goals. The win sees the Bucks remain at the top of this week's Central Conference Power Rankings.

Many of the teams in the Great Lakes and Heartland Divisions are set to kick off their PDL campaigns in Week 3, including the reigning Heartland winner Des Moines Menace.

Central Conference Top 5:

1. Michigan Bucks

Previous: No. 1
Week 2 Results: W 2-0 vs. K-W United FC
2017 PDL Record: 1-0-0
Next Game: at Dayton Dutch Lions (7 p.m. ET, May 23)
Overview: The title defense has started off well for the Michigan Bucks. The three-time PDL champions defeated 2015 PDL Championship winner K-W United FC, 2-0, at home on Saturday. The match seemed destined to finish even, but University of Michigan talent Francis Atuahene scored the game-winner in the 79th, and University of Oakland standout Austin Ricci added one more before the final whistle to secure a big season-opening win.

2. Des Moines Menace

Previous: No. 2
Week 2 Results: N/A
2017 PDL Record: 0-0-0
Next Game: vs. WSA Winnipeg (7:30 p.m. CDT, May 20)
Overview: The Des Moines Menace, led by Head Coach John Pascarella, are set to cause all sorts of problems for opposing defenses in the Heartland Division. University of Nebraska Omaha forward Elvir Ibisevic and Valparaiso University midfielder Isaiah Madrid will look to lead the Menace attack when the club's season kicks off on Saturday.

3. Thunder Bay Chill

Previous: No. 3
Week 2 Results: N/A
2017 PDL Record: 0-0-0
Next Game: at WSA Winnipeg (7 p.m. CDT, June 3)
Overview: The Thunder Bay Chill kick off their 2017 PDL campaign on June 3, and the club looks strong, once again, on paper. The Chill are set to have Sullivan Oliveira Silva and Brandon Swartzendruber up front, while Calumet College of St. Joseph defender Mitchell Osmond will be called upon to lead the Chill back line.

4. Saint Louis FC U23

Previous: No. 4
Week 2 Results: N/A
2017 PDL Record: 0-0-0
Next Game: vs. WSA Winnipeg (6 p.m. CDT, May 23)
Overview: The Saint Louis FC U23 kick off their PDL season in Week 4. Head Coach Kevin Stoll has called on local and regional talent to help the team this year, with Saint Louis University forward Anthony Brown among the standouts to watch.

5. K-W United FC

Previous: No. 2
Week 2 Results: N/A
2017 PDL Record: 0-1-0
Next Game: at West Virginia Chaos (7:30 p.m. ET, May 18)
Overview: While K-W United FC suffered its first loss of the season, the Canadian club turned in an admirable performance against one of the top PDL teams across North America. Michigan State University defender Ken Krolicki and Syracuse University defender Kamal Miller both played all 90 minutes in the road loss.

Honorable Mentions:

Chicago FC United

Cincinnati Dutch Lions

Derby City Rovers

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Tag(s): NEWS  Power Rankings  Central Conference  Cincinnati Dutch Lions  Derby City Rovers  K-W United FC  Michigan Bucks  Chicago FC United  Des Moines Menace  St. Louis Lions