TAMPA, Fla. — On the eve of the 2018 PDL season - with assistance from the USL Scouting Network - the Premier Development League has highlighted 50 players to watch this summer.
“As we enter the 24th PDL season, we’re proud to highlight another class of incredible athletes competing this summer in our league,” said PDL Co-Director Chris Madden. “With talented individuals from top universities around the country joining their PDL clubs, we’re excited to watch these players compete and earn a spot on our PDL Top Prospects lists as they pursue their professional aspirations.”
Leading the list of 50 players to watch are a pair of returning stars from last year’s Top Prospect lists. Louisville’s Tate Schmitt makes his return for a third season at FC Tucson, while Michigan’s Brad Dunwell will again feature for the Michigan Bucks.
A total of 13 players from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) feature on the preseason list, but the Big Ten’s Michigan State leads all schools with five athletes included. Twenty-two PDL teams have representation, with Chicago FC United and the Michigan Bucks' five players each as the most of any team.
Two new PDL member clubs appear as well, with Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23 represented by Brown University’s Jack Hagstrom and Lansing United’s John Freitag and DeJuan Jones, both hailing from Michigan State, on the list.
The PDL’s Players to Watch list is composed by input from the USL Scouting Network. The network features a wealth of soccer knowledge - including coaches, general managers and more from colleges and clubs around the country - identifying, evaluating and providing valuable data on thousands of PDL athletes nationwide. The PDL Top Prospects list will feature high-level talent recommended by these scouts throughout the season as they continue to pursue professional careers.