Bulls Spend Offseason in PDL
TAMPA, May 17, 2017 – Seven Bulls from the University of South Florida men's soccer team are refining their skills this summer in the Premier Development League (PDL). USF will be represented on four different teams, including Tampa Bay's own Rowdies U23 club.
The PDL regular season began in the first week of May and runs through the middle of July, with the championship being held in the first week of August.
The league is known as an important stepping-stone to professional soccer and close to 70 percent of MLS draftees since 2010 have PDL experience. The PDL is the soccer equivalent of the Cape Cod League for baseball.
Separated into four conferences, the league spans across the country. The Bulls will be based in Florida and South Carolina.
Based out of St. Petersburg, Christian Knight (Odessa, Fla.), Gabriel Pfeffer (Montevideo, Uruguay), Gonzalo Rodriguez (Coustituciou, Chile) and signee Trey Jackson (Ocala, Fla.) will play for the Tampa Bay Rowdies U23. It's the Rowdies inaugural season in the league and the preseason Southern Conference power rankings had the program ranked No. 3.
Ricardo Gomez (Gainesville, Ga.) will be playing for the Myrtle Beach Mutiny and Ben Espinal (Palmetto, Fla.) will be close to home with the Lakeland Tropics. Bradley Farias (Indiantown, Fla.) will spend the summer in Port St. Lucie, Fla. with the South Florida Surf. The Surf is one of 12 PDL teams to participate in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Cup is the longest ongoing competition in American Soccer and 2017 marks the 104th edition.
On Dec. 18 Bob Butehorn was appointed the head coach the USF men's soccer program. A member of the University of Tampa's 1981 national championship team and a three-time conference coach of the year, Butehorn previously led Florida Gulf Coast University's men's soccer program to six conference regular season championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and Top 25 rankings in five seasons since 2010.
The Bulls concluded the season as The American regular season champions and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls finished the season with a 10-6-4 overall record and a 6-1-0 mark in the American Athletic Conference.
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