TUKWILA, Wash. – No. 1 seed K-W United FC and No. 2 seed New York Red Bulls U23 will square off in the title match of the 2015 PDL Championship presented by Nike on Sunday. Kickoff from Starfire Stadium is at 5 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on the PDL’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/USLPDL). Live updates will also be available through the league’s official Twitter account (@USLPDL).
Both sides are vying for their first PDL crown and are coming off of dramatic late-game winners in the semifinal stage.
Canada-based K-W United, led by head coach Chris Pozniak, has been a part of the PDL since 2012 and reached the postseason for a second consecutive year. K-W defeated Sounders FC U23 1-0 on Friday, with Julian Buscher scoring the game-winning free kick in stoppage time – a dipping ball that eluded a four-man wall and snuck inside the left of the frame. (RECAP)
After starting the year with a 2-2-0 record, K-W United posted an impressive 9-0-1 stretch to cap off the regular season, followed by three consecutive playoff victories to reach its first PDL Championship event.
“It’s fantastic,” Pozniak said of reaching the final. “We’re a young club, three years in existence. It’s fantastic for the players at this level and we’re really looking forward to the opportunity.”
New York Red Bulls U23 needed overtime to advance past third-seeded Ocala Stampede in Friday’s other semifinal. Joe Farrell scored the game-winning goal in the 114th minute to lead New York to a 2-1 victory. (RECAP)
Head coach Rob Elliot’s side is capping off its first season in the PDL. New York had some ups and downs in the early patch of the regular season, opening with three consecutive wins but then going through a 1-2-2 stretch from late May to late June. NYRB U23 hit its stride down the stretch, capping off the regular season with a 5-0-1 mark, followed by a pair of playoff wins to advance to the PDL Championship.
“It took us some time to gel, but this June and July, and the first week of August, we’ve really done something special here,” NYRB U23 left back and team captain Scott Thomsen said. “We’re happy with how the season is going and excited for this last game. If we’re going to make it this far, we might as well win this thing.”
K-W United FC and New York Red Bulls U23 are looking to become the 21st champion in the PDL since its start in 1995, when the Richmond Kickers won the first league crown.
PDL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
2014: Michigan Bucks
2013: Austin Aztex
2012: FC London
2011: Kitsap Pumas
2010: Portland Timbers U23s
2009: Ventura County Fusion
2008: Thunder Bay Chill
2007: Laredo Heat
2006: Michigan Bucks
2005: Des Moines Menace
2004: Central Florida Kraze
2003: Cape Cod Crusaders
2002: Cape Cod Crusaders
2001: Westchester Flames
2000: Chicago Sockers
1999: Chicago Sockers
1998: San Gabriel Valley
1997: Central Coast Roadrunners
1996: Central Coast Roadrunners
1995: Richmond Kickers