If you finish on top, you begin on top. That sentiment holds true for each leader of the Premier Development League’s Preseason Power Rankings, particularly the defending PDL Champion Charlotte Eagles.
The Eagles, who defeated the Thunder Bay Chill in 2017’s PDL Championship, lead the Eastern Conference power rankings ahead of what’s sure to be another competitive year for the North Carolina-based club. They’ll face tough competition to hold that spot, however, as they’re backed-up by PDL Regular Season Champion New York Red Bulls U23 and the Myrtle Beach Mutiny, who topped the Eagles to the South Atlantic Division title last season. Rounding out the top five are Northeast Division champions Seacoast United Phantoms and Mid Atlantic Division second place finisher Reading United AC, who posted a 12-2-0 record last year.
The aforementioned Chill top the Central Conference rankings, narrowly edging out the perennial PDL powerhouse Michigan Bucks. The Chill topped the Heartland Division last season, while the Bucks won their fourth consecutive Great Lakes Division title. At three are the Des Moines Menace, who took a step back and finished second in the Heartland Division in 2017 after winning the division in 2015 and 2016. The West Virginia Chaos and St. Louis Lions round out the top five in the Central Conference.
The Energy U23 top the Southern Conference, having matched the Red Bulls U23’s 12-1-1 mark while cruising to a Mid South Division title in 2017. They’re followed closely by the Southeast Division winning SIMA Aguilas, who posted an exemplary 11-2-1 record in their first PDL campaign and look to repeat this year. In third is Mississippi Brilla FC, 2nd place Mid South Division finishers in 2017, who join the new Deep South Division this year as early favorites having posted the best record of any team in the division. Following up in fourth and fifth respectively are FC Miami City in the Southeast Division and South Georgia Tormenta FC in the Deep South.
Leading the Western Conference are defending conference champions FC Golden State Force, who captured their first Southwest Divisional crown in 2017. Following closely behind are FC Tucson, who seek their fifth consecutive divisional title in 2018 after winning the Mountain Division last season. Fresno FC U23 finished second in the Southwest Division last year, and sits at third in the initial rankings, having posted an impressive 10-2-2 mark. Following up are Northwest Division champions Portland Timbers U23 and their runner-up Calgary Foothills FC in fourth and fifth.
Tag(s): NEWS Top Performers #PATH2PRO Power Rankings Michigan Bucks West Virginia Chaos Des Moines Menace St. Louis Lions Thunder Bay Chill Seacoast United Phantoms New York Red Bulls U23 Reading United AC Charlotte Eagles South Georgia Tormenta FC Myrtle Beach Mutiny Mississippi Brilla FC OKC Energy U23 FC Miami City SIMA Aguilas FC Tucson Lane United FC Portland Timbers U23 FC Golden State Force Fresno FC U23