The United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL) announced its Team of the Week for the first week of the 2012 season today, honoring Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 forward Carlos Marquez as Player of the Week for Week One after he had two goals and an assist in his side’s 3-0 victory against defending PDL champions the Kitsap Pumas last Friday night.
Marquez assisted on the Whitecaps U-23’s opener, scored by Michael Boxall, before twice finding space in the Pumas’ defense and finishing well to give his side a 3-0 halftime lead. Remaining with the Whitecaps this season after making 13 appearances for the club last season, mostly off the bench, Marquez got his side off to an ideal start in what is expected to be a tough Northwest Division this season.
Joining Marquez as the other two forwards on the Team of the Week were a pair of players who also scored twice to lead their side’s to victory. Real Maryland FC’s David Neuberth was at the center of the Monarch’s 3-0 win against the Virginia Beach Piranhas on Saturday night, while Carlos De Araujo led the Ocala Stampede to victory in the club’s inaugural contest, a 4-2 win against the VSI Tampa Flames.
Seacoast United goalkeeper Colin O’Donnell took the goalkeeper’s spot after recording six saves to lead his side to a 1-0 victory against the Worcester Hydra, and he was joined by fellow Northeast Division standout Patrick Hamilton, who scored the game-tying goal in the Boston Victory’s come-from-behind win against the CFC Azul on Saturday night.
Hamilton was joined in defense by Real Colorado’s Lorne Donaldson, who had a goal in each of the Foxes’ contests in Des Moines, helping the side take four points from two games to open the season.
Austin’s Tony Rocha, who was instrumental to the Aztex’s 4-0 win against the Texas Dutch Lions earned one of the midfield berths, and he was joined by the Fresno Fuego’s Nini Blanco, whose spectacular shot from just inside FC Tucson’s half earned his side a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.
The PDL ramps up this weekend with 30 games across the country. Among the clubs making their first appearances of the season are defending division champions from a season ago the Carolina Dynamo, Laredo Heat, Mississippi Brilla and GPS Portland Phoenix, while the Palmetto FC Bantams play their inaugural contest as they host the Virginia Beach Piranhas on Saturday night, as do the Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors, who host the Nashville Metros on Friday night.
Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 forward Yassin Essa was also an honourable mention for the PDL Team of the Week.