TAMPA, Fla. — After a record-setting 2017 - and entering its fourth season - the USL Scouting Network grows and expands its scope ahead of the 2018 PDL season kickoff next Friday.
With an increased number of scouts - including coaches, general managers and more from around the country - a more thorough national coverage and ever-increasing standards, the Scouting Network is posed for its strongest season to date since launching in 2015.
2017 showed the massive steps taken by the program since its launch, with a record 66 PDL alums selected in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and more than 500 alumni playing professionally across the U.S. and Canada.
“The USL Scouting Network has been one of the primary drivers of the PDL’s success in producing professional talent in recent years,” said PDL Co-Director Chris Madden. “Our incredible 2017 season in terms of player development is a testament to the network’s ability to identify, track and evaluate thousands of PDL players every season.”
The USL Scouting Network continues to evolve, with new behind-the-scenes systems used to evaluate both a wide scope of players and provide a deep picture of each athlete analyzed. The results of the labor of each of the network’s scouts and the system can be seen in the PDL’s ongoing Top Prospects list, which will be featured in biweekly updates during the season, providing valuable data to fans, followers and professional clubs as they seek top-level talent.
“Our Top Prospects list has been a key feature of the USL Scouting Network over the past few years,” said Madden. “It has helped many professional teams identify future players, including current MLS and USL rookies such as Chris Mueller, Jon Bakero and Francis Atuahene. Professional teams are reaping the benefits of the scouting system to fill their rosters and we’re proud to see so many of our alumni making impacts at the professional and international levels.”
The 2018 PDL season kicks off next Friday, May 4 as the FC Golden State Force host San Diego Zest FC. Read more about the USL Scouting Network from two long-time members below.