Photo courtesy of Thunder Bay Chill
The 2018 Premier Development League schedule was revealed last Thursday, with a slate of 518 matches comprising this year’s regular season. Among those matches are several long-time rivalries, as well as several new burgeoning ones. Ahead of the season, we’re highlighting the top ten rivalries to keep an eye on this year, starting with the five below and continuing with another five tomorrow.
2018 Matchups: Fri. June 8 - 7:30 p.m. ET (@TB); Sat. June 16 - 8:30 p.m. ET (@DM)
2017 Results: The two historic Central Conference rivals took each other on three times last year, with Des Moines capturing two wins to Thunder Bay’s one. In total, the teams were even on goals scored at 2-2, but the Chill ultimately had the last laugh, winning the Heartland Division and making a run all the way to the PDL Championship in August.
History: Since 2007, one of the Chill or Menace has won the Heartland Division for 11-consecutive seasons. While the Menace had the most recent success, capturing the crown for three straight years in 2014-16, the Chill turned it around in 2017 by capturing their first since 2013, despite falling to the Menace twice in the regular season.
2018 Matchups: Sat. May 12 - 7 p.m. ET (@LU); Sat. May 26 - 12 p.m. ET (@MI); Fri. June 22 - 7 p.m. ET (@LU)
2017 Results: N/A
History: Entering its fifth year of play, Lansing United competes in the PDL for the first time in 2018, kindling a new rivalry with the long-time PDL powerhouse Michigan Bucks. The Bucks have a history of success in the PDL, winning seven of the last eight, and nine of the last 11, Great Lakes Division titles. They’ve also captures three PDL Championships in that span (2006, 2014, 2016), reaching the playoffs eight straight seasons.
2018 Matchups: Sat. June 2 - 8 p.m. ET (@SFG); Thu. July 12 - 10 p.m. ET (@SFCFC)
2017 Results: N/A
History: Entering its third season in the league, San Francisco City FC have narrowly missed the playoffs the past two years, finishing third in its division in 2016 and 2017. They’ll aim for further success in 2018, but will have a new local rival to go through in order to do so. SF Glens SC join the PDL for their inaugural season this year, establishing a first team atop one of the nation’s oldest youth academies, and provide SF City FC with an immediate challenge for supremacy in San Francisco.
2018 Matchups: Fri. May 18 - 7:30 p.m. ET (@COR); Sun. May 20 - 9 p.m. ET (@COP); Tue. July 3 - 6 p.m. ET (@COP); Sun. July 8 - 7:30 p.m. ET (@COR)
2017 Results: N/A
History: Though the Colorado Rapids U23 and Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23 didn’t play in 2017, with 2018 serving as the latter’s inaugural season, the two foes will quickly become very familiar with one another this year, facing off a total of four times in the Mountain Division. The Rapids U23 finished third in the division in 2017, narrowly missing out on the Western Conference playoffs, and will try and beat their newfound in-state rivals to that objective this year.
2018 Matchups: Sat. June 23 - 7 p.m. ET (@DAY); Tue. July 3 - 7 p.m. ET (@CIN); Sun. July 15 - 7 p.m. ET (@CIN)
2017 Results: The Dayton Dutch Lions went winless against their Cincinnati name-sharer in 2017, but managed two scoreless draws to keep things relatively even. However, Cincinnati took home the first clash between the two teams with a significant 4-0 victory on May 27.
History: The Dayton Dutch Lions returned to the PDL in 2015 after playing one season in 2010 before joining the professional ranks in USL Pro. The club has struggled since its return, finishing fifth twice and fourth once in their division. The Cincinnati Dutch Lions enter their fifth PDL season never having finished above second in their division, and aims to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Tag(s): NEWS Top Performers Cincinnati Dutch Lions Dayton Dutch Lions Michigan Bucks Des Moines Menace Thunder Bay Chill Colorado Rapids U23 San Francisco City FC Col. Pride Switchbacks U23 San Francisco Glens SC Lansing United