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USL's Reno Signs Four PDL Alums

02/23/2018, 9:45am EST

Michaelson, Johnson, Gleadle and Chica shine in preseason, ink pro deals

Photo courtesy of Fresno FC U23

After each had a successful trial with Reno 1868 FC in the 2018 preseason, four PDL alums have inked one-year contracts with the United Soccer League club.

Portland Timbers U23 alum Christo Michaelson led the four signings, as the 2017 All-Western Conference midfielder capped off his PDL career by helping lead the club to the 2017 PDL Playoffs, appearing in 14 matches while recording three goals and one assist. He’s joined by Albuquerque Sol FC alum Sam Gleadle, FC Golden State Force defender Connor Johnson and Fresno Fuego alum Joey Chica.

“The PDL allows players to extend their college seasons, against quality opponents that features the top college players in the United States.” Said Reno 1868 head coach Ian Russell, who subsequently signed a contract extension with the club through 2019 after a hugely successful inaugural season for the Western Conference club.

Learn more about the four newly-signed alums here.

Christo Michaelson

Portland Timbers U23

What he said - “The PDL was really helpful for me. Playing against the top college guys each and every day at practice or in games is really special. I think the PDL is a great path to becoming a professional.”

What Coach Russell said - “Christo plays the No. 6 position and is aggressive, tenacious and a good ball-winner. He’s another young player we’re looking forward to developing for the future.”

Sam Gleadle

Albuquerque Sol FC

What he said - “The PDL offered great exposure playing with college athletes from all over North America. You really learn how to work as a team.”

What Coach Russell said - “Sam is quick, dynamic and has good feet. He’ll be looking to get some minutes here with the team.”

Connor Johnson

FC Golden State Force

What he said - “PDL was a good transition from college to the highest level. I got to play against some of the best college players and the coaching staff was incredible.”

What Coach Russell said - “Connor is a very athletic center back that needs to be polished up a bit,” Russell said. “That’s what we’re looking to do here in Reno. But he physically has great tools and another great young player we’re looking to develop for the future.”

Joey Chica

Fresno Fuego

What he said - “The preparation and exposure offered in the PDL is second to none for college players in the United States.”

What Coach Russell said - “Chica is a really technical player, who can play a couple of different positions whether it is underneath the forward or in the midfield. He’s a good player to develop in the future.”

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