Carolina to host PDL championship, taking on FC London
The Dynamo, Eastern Conference champions, had to battle back to earn a 2-1 victory against Orlando City U23 at Macpherson Stadium on Saturday night. The Lions took the lead as Nicolas Russo was able to turn home a deflected cross in the 25th minute, but Carolina hit back 10 minutes later through Donnie Smith before taking the lead in the 43rd minute through Shawn Sloan. The Dynamo were then able to hold on throughout a scoreless second half to earn their first trip to the PDL championship game, and their first trip to a USL championship contest since 1997.
London also fought back from a deficit at German Club Stadium, defeating the Sounders FC U23 3-2 after trailing by a pair of goals at the halftime break. The Sounders gained the upper hand in the 21st minute as Sean Morris was able to finish from close range. Dennis Sanchez then doubled their advantage in the 34th minute on a shot from 25 yards out.
But Carl Haworth pulled a goal back for London a minute into the second half, and then Bryan Da Cruz tied the game five minutes later, giving the home side momentum. Local product Alex Lewis then capped the victory with seven minutes to go, earning his side its first trip to the PDL championship in just its fourth season of competition.
2012 PDL CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, August 4
FC London at Carolina Dynamo, 7 p.m. ET
At Macpherson Stadium, Greensboro, N.C.
NATIONAL SEMIFINALS RESULTS
Saturday, July 28
Carolina Dynamo 2, Orlando City U23 1
FC London 3, Sounders FC U23 2