PDL League Update: 3 New Franchises Join the Family
It may be the offseason, but preparations never stop for the PDL executives, teams, and players. As the players and coaches are off at their respective colleges making a name for themselves and striving for a title, the league is already getting to work on making the 2017 PDL season the best one to date. In a sport where success is #1, everybody wants a piece of the action. This time last year, the Premier Development League was welcoming Peachtree City MOBA, Tormenta FC, Tri-Cities FC, San Diego Zest, FC Golden State, SF City FC, The Villages SC, and South Florida Surf into the ranks. Well, it's expansion time once again, and three new teams have been announced as the 2017 expansion to the already massive 67-team league, pushing that number up to 70.
On September 19, the first expansion team was announced to be the Lakeland Tropics, headed by CEO Andrew Haines and the Central Florida Sports Ventures. The Tropics, the eighth Florida-based team in the PDL, are expected to become a part of the Southeast Division in the Southern
Conference. Todd Eason, the director of the PDL, had this to say on the expansion: "The Lakeland Tropics will bolster an already strong conference in the South and attract top college-aged players and local talent. The addition of this franchise gives the Lakeland community a high-caliber organization to showcase potential professionals, and I am confident that newly-appointed COO Chris Economides and the Tropics will seamlessly form some strong rivalries and produce the level of play that has defined the PDL.” Just east of Tampa, the franchise looks to have an impact in the community, bringing America's fastest-growing sport to the Lakeland area.
Nashville SC U-23
The following day, the PDL announced that USL club Nashville SC was awarded an expansion
Wilmington Hammerheads FC
On September 29, it was announced that Wilmington, North Carolina was joining the PDL ranks as Wilmington Hammerheads FC. Owned by George Altirs, the day-to-day operations of the franchise
Images retrieved from respective team websites.
Quotes retrieved from USLPDL.com