BY NICHOLAS MURRAY
TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced today its 2012 regular season honors, with Thunder Bay Chill forward Sullivan Silva leading the way by being named Scoring Champion while sharing the Goal Scoring Champion honors with Reading United’s Deshorn Brown. The league’s Assist Champion title is also shared by the Kansas City Brass’ Jordan Green and Michigan Bucks’ Tom Catalano, while Bucks goalkeeper Adam Grinwis takes home the Goals-Against Average Champion honors.
Silva, who will lead his team into the Central Conference Semifinals against FC London on Saturday, averaged more than two points per game for the Chill, leading the side to the Heartland Division title with 32 points in 15 games. While his 13 goals finished tied with Brown, his six assists allowed him to pull away from the Reading United standout in the points race, where Brown finished second with 28.
Green and Catalano were both standouts in the Central Conference, and both finished the season with 12 assists. Green was not just a threat to create goals for the Brass, as his seven goals put him in a tie for third place in the league’s points race with 26. Catalano, on the other hand, was a driving force behind the best attack in the PDL. Michigan finished the season with a league-best 46 goals, with Catalano setting up more than one quarter.
While Catalano was making sure the 2012 PDL Regular Season champions’ offense was driving forward, Grinwis made sure the Bucks remained tight in defense. The University of Michigan standout sported a remarkable 0.444 goals-against average in his nine appearances, recording five shutouts. Grinwis did not concede more than one goal in a game in league play throughout the season while finishing with 50 saves.
The 2012 PDL playoffs kick off tonight with play-in games to determine the final three participants for the Eastern Conference Championships. The conference semifinals take place Friday through Sunday as the road to the PDL Championship on Saturday, August 4 continues.
The 2012 PDL All-Conference Teams will be announced on Monday, July 30, followed by the All-League Team on Tuesday, July 31. The finalists for Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player will be announced on Wednesday, August 1, with the awards presented at the PDL Championship banquet. Goalkeeper of the Year will also be presented at the banquet.
The top developmental men’s league in North American, the PDL features 73 teams within four conferences across the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 16 regular season matches for each team, eight home and eight away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.