Timbers U-23s Playoff Celebration
Leah Parr

Premier Development League announces 2012 playoff schedule

TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced today the schedule for the 2012 PDL Playoffs, with three Conference Championship hosts being selected for the Central, Southern and Western Conference Championships. The Eastern Conference Championship host will be determined on Tuesday night.

The Central Conference Championship will be hosted by the PDL Regular Season champion Michigan Bucks at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. The Bucks, who clinched their third regular season title and 10th Great Lakes Division title on Sunday with victory against the River City Rovers, will be joined by Great Lakes runner-up FC London and the Heartland Division champion Thunder Bay Chill and runner-up Real Colorado Foxes. The Bucks will face the Foxes in Saturday’s opening semifinal, with the defending conference champion Chill meeting FC London in an all-Canadian clash. The championship game will be held on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. ET.

The Southern Conference Championship will be hosted by the Southeast Division champion Ocala Stampede at Trinity Catholic Stadium. The Stampede, who are in their first season of play in the PDL, are joined by Southeast Division runner-up Orlando City U23, and the Mid South Division champion Laredo Heat and runner-up Austin Aztex. The Heat will face the Lions on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. ET, with the Stampede and Aztex meeting at 8 p.m. ET The championship game will then be held on Sunday evening at 5 p.m. ET.

The Western Conference will be hosted by the Southwest Division champion Ventura County Fusion at Ventura College, where they will be joined by Southwest Division runner-up FC Tucson and the Northwest Division’s Sounders FC U23 and Portland Timbers U-23s. The Sounders took a 3-1 victory against the Washington Crossfire on Saturday night to advance from the divisional playoff, while the Timbers ended the reign of defending PDL champions the Kitsap Pumas 2-1 on Sunday night in their playoff contest.

The Fusion will face the Timbers U-23s on Saturday night in the opening semifinal at 5 p.m. PT, while the Sounders U23 will face FC Tucson at 7:30 p.m. PT. The championship game will be played on Sunday evening at 5 p.m. PT.

Three of the Eastern Conference’s semifinalists will be determined on Tuesday night, with the Ocean City Nor’easters the only side that has currently earned its place at the Eastern Conference Championships as the Conference’s regular season champion. The Mid Atlantic Division playoff will see Reading United host the Jersey Express at Albright College at 7 p.m. ET, with the Ottawa Fury and GPS Portland Phoenix meeting at 7 p.m. ET at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex in the Northeast Division playoff and the Carolina Dynamo hosting Real Maryland FC at Macpherson Stadium at 7 p.m. ET in the South Atlantic Division playoff.

The Conference Champions will meet in the national semifinals on the weekend of July 27-29 at two host locations to be determined. The PDL Championship will be played on Saturday, August 4 at the home of one of the semifinal winners.


Eastern Conference Divisional Playoffs

Tuesday, July 17
Northeast: GPS Portland Phoenix at Ottawa Fury, 7 p.m. ET
Mid Atlantic: Jersey Express at Reading United, 7 p.m. ET
South Atlantic: Real Maryland at Carolina Dynamo, 7 p.m. ET

Central Conference Championships
At Ultimate Soccer Arenas - Pontiac, Mich.

Conference Semifinals

Saturday, July 21
Real Colorado Foxes at Michigan Bucks, 6 p.m. ET
Thunder Bay Chill vs. Forest City London, 8 p.m. ET

Conference Championship

Sunday, July 22
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. ET

Southern Conference Championships
At Trinity Catholic Stadium - Ocala, Fla.

Conference Semifinals

Friday, July 20
Laredo Heat vs. Orlando City U23, 5:30 p.m. ET
Austin Aztex at Ocala Stampede, 8 p.m. ET

Conference Championship

Sunday, July 22
Semifinals winners, 5 p.m. ET

Western Conference Championships
At Ventura College - Ventura, Calif.

Conference Semifinals

Saturday, July 21
Portland Timbers U-23s at Ventura County Fusion, 5 p.m. PT
Sounders FC U23 vs. FC Tucson, 7:30 p.m. PT

Conference Championship

Sunday, July 22
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m. PT

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.