Sunday, August 1, 2010

July 31st, 2010 - PDL Eastern Conference Semi Final - Ottawa 2 New Jersey 0

July 31st, 2010
Premier Development League (PDL) Eastern Conference Semi-Final
Ottawa 2 New Jersey 0
Attendance: 500
Admission: $12
Beer: Sadly none :(

Since I am home in the Ottawa, Canada area for a few weeks, I have decided to try to get to a few games. Back in 2005, 2006 I went to almost every Ottawa Fury game. This is when they were first established, and played at Keith Harris Stadium at Carleton University. Now, they are playing on a fieldturf pitch at Algonquin College. The facilities are basic, with just a few metal stands around the pitch, but they are very close.

The PDL is basically an U23 league with a smattering of over 23 players. Most of those who play in the league, compete with NCAA D1 teams, but there are some who don't. There is quite an international flavour to the teams, because of the players who come over to play in the NCAA. There are 67 teams scattered across North America. They all play in regional divisions until the conference semi-finals. The winners of the four conferences advance to the North American 'final four'. The PDL is considered to be the 4th division of soccer in North America.

I must say I was really impressed with the skill level. Certainly much better than I remember from a few years ago. It doesn't hurt that the game tonight was a playoff match, so I was watching the best teams. If I had to guess, I would say the level was around the 4th division in the Czech Republic.

New Jersey started off well, and pressed for the first 30 minutes. They had one glorious chance, but the striker made a mess of it. From then on, Ottawa dominated and fully deserved the victory.

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