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Surf’s Espinal Headlines First 2017 Top Prospects List

05/26/2017, 4:45pm EDT
By PDL Staff

Dayton’s Amankona, Rowdies U23’s Lopez-Espin, Bucks’ Atuahene among top talents

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TAMPA, Fla. – South Florida Surf forward Darwin Espinal tops the first edition of the 2017 Premier Development League Top Prospects list, which highlights 50 of the of best players competing and impressing in the league.

Espinal is ranked No. 1 following strong showings in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, while Dayton Dutch Lions midfielder Amass Amankona takes the second spot. Creighton University and Tampa Bay Rowdies U23 forward Ricky Lopez-Espin is third, University of Michigan and Michigan Bucks forward Francis Atuahene is fourth and University of Virginia and Fresno Fuego center back Sergi Nus comes in fifth.

A total of 24 scouts across North America, including coaching directors, technical directors and head coaches, provide the PDL with valuable insight on the top Under-23 performers in the league throughout the season. The Top Prospects list, which serves as a resource for professional clubs who are interested in identifying and scouting high-level players, ranks players based on their performance within the PDL, their technical and tactical qualities and their potential to play at the professional level.

Since its creation in 2015, the USL Scouting Network has identified numerous standout performers within the league before they made their first professional debuts. Philadelphia Union defender Keegan Rosenberry finished the 2015 PDL season ranked No. 1 on the Top Prospects list, while standout forward Christian Chaney finished the 2016 PDL season ranked No. 1 before signing a professional contract with the United Soccer League’s Sacramento Republic FC. More than 370 PDL alumni are registered in the USL, while more than 220 players are on 2017 MLS rosters.

Top 20 Top Prospects:

1. Darwin Espinal – Forward – South Florida Surf
2. Amass Amankona – Midfielder – Dayton Dutch Lions
3. Ricky Lopez-Espin – Forward – Tampa Bay Rowdies U23
4. Francis Atuahene – Forward – Michigan Bucks
5. Sergi Nus – Defender – Fresno Fuego
6. Mutaya Mwape – Midfielder – Charlotte Eagles
7. Nico Pasquotti – Midfielder – Calgary Foothills FC
8. Hugo Delhommelle – Midfielder – Reading United AC
9. Nikola Fimic – Defender – Ocean City Nor’easters
10. Brad Dunwell – Midfielder – Michigan Bucks
11. Paul Marie – Midfielder – Reading United AC
12. Ben Lundgaard – Goalkeeper – New York Red Bulls U23
13. Santiago Patino – Forward – SIMA Aguilas
14. Martim Galvao – Midfielder – Nashville SC U23
15. Chris Mueller – Midfielder – Chicago FC United
16. Tanner Dieterich – Defender – Nashville SC U23
17. Biska Biyombo – Midfielder – SIMA Aguilas
18. Callum Montgomery – Defender – Victoria Highlanders FC
19. Will Bagrou – Forward – Sounders FC U23
20. Ignacio Tellechea – Forward – Ocean City Nor’easters

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