FC Tucson defender Travis Campbell named PDL player of the week
Campbell played the full 90 minutes in each of Tucson’s victories this past week, with his side opening its trip with a 1-0 victory against the BYU Cougars on June 5. The win was the fifth in a row that Tucson had taken by that score, with Campbell’s presence playing a key role as Tucson continued to eke out victories in its first season in the PDL.
Two days later, Campbell again led the way as Tucson took a 3-0 victory against the Ogden Outlaws, playing the full game and finding the back of the net in the 44th minute off a low free kick by Max Alvarez. The goal was his first of the season, and allowed Tucson to briefly claim top spot in the Southwest Division, only to be overtaken by the Ventura County Fusion after their win Friday night against the Orange County Blue Star. FC Tucson will travel to face Ventura County Saturday night at Ventura College in one of the biggest games of the PDL season so far.
Joining Campbell on the Team of the Week’s defensive quartet was Des Moines’ Javier Lopez, who scored twice to allow the Menace to rally for a 2-1 victory against the Kansas City Brass on Saturday night. Shawn Foster continued his strong season for the Jersey Express, leading his side to a 4-0 victory against Bermuda, while Toronto’s Eric Crawford had a standout performance to help the Lynx earn a 0-0 draw against the Great Lakes Division-leading Michigan Bucks. Laredo Heat goalkeeper Emmanual Frias got the nod in goal after a standout performance in his side’s 2-0 win on the road against the Austin Aztex on Saturday night, helping the Heat get back into the Mid South Division playoff race.
Fredericksburg’s Nate Schiffman led the midfield trio, after an admirable performance in difficult circumstances against the Carolina Dynamo on Saturday. Schiffman played after learning of the death of his VCU teammate Yoram Mwila in a car accident the previous night, and after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot he provided the assist for Karel Manrau’s stoppage-time equalizer to earn a 2-2 draw and keep the side undefeated this season.
Schiffman was joined by Thunder Bay’s Abraham Villon, who put in a pair of strong performances as the Chill took a pair of victories against the St. Louis Lions to move to the top of the Heartland Division. Verneri Valimaa of Orlando City U23 completed the trio, after scoring twice in the Lions’ 3-0 win against Ft. Lauderdale Schulz Academy on Sunday evening.
Jaime Chavez of the LA Misioneros and Ben Arikian of the Long Island Rough Riders both had hat tricks in their sides’ victories during the weekend, and they were joined by Ottawa’s Will Beauge, who had a pair of goals in two games as the Fury continued their move up the standings and into the playoff places in the Northeast Division.
The PDL season continues this weekend with 44 games scheduled from Friday through Sunday. In addition to Saturday’s crucial clash between FC Tucson and the Ventura County Fusion, the schedule sees a number of key contests as playoff races reach the midway point of the season. On Friday night, the Nashville Metros will face the Carolina Dynamo in a key South Atlantic Division clash in Greensboro, N.C.’s Macpherson Stadium, while FC London visits the Michigan Bucks in the Great Lakes Division.
Two of the top three teams in the Mid South meet in Austin on Saturday night as the El Paso Patriots try to gain ground on the Aztex, then on Sunday the Jersey Express will try to end Reading United’s undefeated start to the season as the Mid Atlantic Division rivals meet at Albright College.
PDL Team of the Week
|GK||Emmanuel Frias||Laredo||Had six saves on the road to key shutout win against Aztex|
|D||Javier Lopez||Des Moines||Pair of goals lifted Menace to 2-1 win against Kansas City Brass|
|D||Eric Crawford||Toronto||Had goal-line clearance to preserve 0-0 draw against Michigan|
|D||Travis Campbell||Tucson||Scored goal, and played key role in pair of shutout victories|
|D||Shawn Foster||Jersey||Helped Express record pair of shutout victories to move up table|
|M||Verneri Valimaa||Orlando||Had a pair of goals in Lions U23’s 3-0 win against Schulz Academy|
|M||Abraham Villon||Thunder Bay||Recorded two goals, assist as Chill took pair of victories|
|M||Nate Schiffman||Fredericksburg||Had goal and assist to earn point against Dynamo|
|F||Will Beauge||Ottawa||Pair of goals helped Fury continue move up standings|
|F||Jaime Chavez||LA Misioneros||Had a hat trick in big victory against Pali Blues|
|F||Ben Arikian||Long Island||Recorded opening three goals in victory against Westchester|
Honorable Mention – Bermuda: Wayne Bean; Brooklyn: Raphael Abreu; Carolina: Hakan Ilhan; Chicago Fire: Harry Shipp; Chicago Inferno: Emir Zrnic; FC London: Tom Owens; Fraser Valley: Mark Village; Fredericksburg: Ryan Taylor; IMG Bradenton: Will Vitalis; Kitsap: Ben Truax;Laredo: Horacio Leal; Long Island: Sean Sepe; Michigan: Adam Grinwis, Sean Teepen; North Sound: Abdul Aman; Ocean City: Frank Tweneboa, Markhus Lacroix; Orange County: Michael Shaddock; Orlando: Adama Mbengue; Ottawa: Nils Carlson; Palmetto: Brendan Ledgeway; Pali: Cody Carlson; Portland: John McFarlin; Reading: Stephen Okai, Pedro Ribeiro; Real Maryland: David Neuberth, Julio Arjona; Southern West Virginia: Nago Mbengue; Texas: Giovanni Andjole, Rick van Hoeven; Thunder Bay: Sullivan Silva; Toronto: Ben Ur; Vancouver: Coulton Jackson, Ben Fisk;Ventura County: Travis Bowen; VSI Tampa: Carlos Araujo; West Texas: Alonso Jimenez; West Virginia: Dion Peters, Richard Isberner; Western Mass: Pat Ryan; Worcester: Ambry Moss.