Today, the PDL revealed the winners of the 2014 PDL Awards for the league’s Most Valuable Player, Young Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year, selected through team management voting. The league also named the 2014 PDL All-League Team.
2014 PDL All-League Team
GK – William Thompson, FC Tucson
D – Yair Hernandez, Laredo Heat
D – Nolan Intermoia, Thunder Bay Chill
D – Cory Keitz, Kitsap Pumas
D – Ramon Martin Del Campo, San Jose Earthquakes U-23
M – Jose Cuevas, Fresno Fuego
M – Zach Steinberger, Michigan Bucks
M – Ricardo Velazco, FC Tucson
F – Dzenan Catic, Michigan Bucks
F – Anthony Grant, Seacoast United Phantoms
F – Chris Hellmann, Des Moines Menace
2014 PDL Award Winners
Most Valuable Player – Dzenan Catic, Michigan Bucks
Catic added the PDL Most Valuable Player award to his Golden Boot after a standout season that saw him score 16 regular-season goals to lead the Bucks to the Great Lakes Division title, and a pair of postseason goals to help the Bucks reach the PDL Championship. A former high school National Player of the Year, Catic trained this preseason with Seattle Sounders.
Young Player of the Year – Ricardo Velazco, FC Tucson
Velazco returned to Tucson for his second season this summer, and led the team with seven goals and four assists. The creative midfielder, who was named to the American Athletic Conference’s First Team for Louisville this past fall, led his side to its first division title and then to the Western Conference Championship Game.
Goalkeeper of the Year – William Thompson, FC Tucson
Coming off a season-ending injury to his college season with Loyola Marymount, Thompson finished in the Top 10 in the PDL in goals-against average, shutouts, wins and minutes, and recorded a 0.825 save percentage. Thompson, a 6-foot-6 former member of the LA Galaxy Academy, helped Tucson earn its first division title.
Coach of the Year – Michael Jeffries, Des Moines Menace
In his second season as the Menace’s head coach, Jeffries led the squad to its second regular-season championship, and first since 2002, as Des Moines finished the regular season with a record of 12-1-1. The former Dallas Burn head coach and Chicago Fire assistant built a squad that included All-League selection Chris Hellmann and All-Conference selection Ralph Lundy, while a stout defense conceded only seven goals in 14 games, which tied for the league’s best defensive record.
The PDL features 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada, including 12 teams affiliated with USL PRO or MLS clubs. Seventy percent of all MLS draftees have PDL experience. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and allows elite collegiate players to compete while maintaining their eligibility. PDL teams also compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and in various exhibitions.
The 2014 PDL Championship Game presented by Nike between the Michigan Bucks and Kitsap Pumas will be streamed live on the PDL’s YouTube channel on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, with live updates available on twitter @USLPDL.