Sunday, July 31, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. – The Kitsap Pumas, Long Island Rough Riders, Thunder Bay Chill and Laredo Heat will travel to Bremerton, Wash. next weekend after winning their respective conferences and earning a berth at the 2011 USL PDL Championships Presented by Umbro.
The Pumas were the final team to clinch their berth on Sunday afternoon as Daniel Scott scored in second-half stoppage time and goalkeeper Bryan Meredith made a penalty save on the last kick of the game to earn a 1-0 victory against the Fresno Fuego.
Late game-winners were the story of the weekend, with Eastern Conference champions Long Island getting a goal in the 84th minute from Stephan Barea to take a 3-2 victory against the Jersey Express. The Rough Riders have won two USL championships in their history, but this will be their first trip to the PDL Championships.
The Thunder Bay Chill also had late heroics from Wilson Rodrigues-Neto, who scored in the 86th minute to lead his side to a 2-1 victory against the Michigan Bucks in the Central Conference final. The Chill were finalists a season ago, falling to the Portland Timbers U-23s, but are prior PDL champions, lifting the trophy in 2008 with a penalty shootout victory against the Laredo Heat.
Laredo, which won the PDL championship in 2007, needed a late equalizer in overtime and a penalty shootout to win the Southern Conference title, winning 7-6 on penalties after they had tied 2-2 with the Mississippi Brilla. Armando Begines scored the key game-tying goal with four minutes remaining in overtime to send the game to a shootout, while Adan Villavicencio scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot in the seventh round as all seven Heat players made their shots.
Kitsap will host the championships at Bremerton Memorial Stadium, with tickets for Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s final going on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com
on Monday morning at 10 a.m. PDT. The semifinals match-up are as follows:
Long Island Rough Riders vs. Laredo Heat, 5 p.m. PDT
Kitsap Pumas vs. Thunder Bay Chill, 7:30 p.m. PDT
The PDL Championship Game will be held on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PDT and aired live on FOX Soccer.