PDL: 2018 Schedule Details and 5 home openers to watch

Charlotte North Carolina skyline at night with traffic blurs and twilight. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Charlotte North Carolina skyline at night with traffic blurs and twilight. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images) /

The ever-expanding PDL (D4) has released the 2018 schedule. Here are key dates and details, as well as the five best home openers.

The Premier Development League (PDL) kicks off the 2018 season with 74 teams spread across 11 divisions. Entering its 24th campaign, the league has continued to grow and stabilize lower division soccer across North America along with the NPSL.

The PDL is the development league for the USL (D2), and will soon have even stronger ties up the soccer ladder when USL launches a D3 league in 2019. D4 leagues provide opportunities for top collegiate players to continue their development in the summer, as well as game time for players who have fallen through the cracks at the D2 level.

Twelve new clubs join in 2018 – Birmingham Hammers, AHFC Royals, Lansing United, Corpus Christi FC, Lionsbridge FC, Ogden City SC, San Francisco Glens, Kaw Valley FC, Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23, Santa Cruz Breakers FC, Black Rock FC, and Memphis.

2018 Schedule Details

May 4th starts the 2018 campaign, with San Diego Zest FC taking on FC Golen State Force. The league runs through July 15th, and is followed by the PDL playoffs which bring together divisional champions from across the nation.

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5 Best Home Openers

As part of these smaller clubs building up their brand locally, most of the matches are available streaming for free. Here are five to keep your eye on:

  1. San Francisco Glens hosting Santa Cruz Breakers (5/5). Two expansion sites, including a new club in the Bay area, looking to pick up fans from the 2017 NASL champions San Francisco Deltas.
  2. Charlotte Eagles hosting Myrtle Beach Mutiny (5/12). The reigning champions begin the push to become the first back to back champions since 2003.
  3. NYRBS U23 hosting the Long Island Rough Riders (5/12). The Red Bulls won the 2017 regular season and have a recent history of bringing through great talent to MLS (i.e. Sean Davis).
  4. Michigan Bucks hosting the Derby City Rovers (5/20). The Bucks are the most decorated PDL team in recent history – 2 Cups in the last four seasons and 3 regular season championships from the past 6 years.
  5. Thunder Bay Chill hosting Des Moines Menace (6/8). A very late home debut for the Chill who fell in the title match last season, last winning the PDL in 2008.

Next: USL: Indy Eleven adding impressive pieces ahead of USL debut

You can find the full PDL 2018 schedule here. Take some time this year to find your closest division 4 club and support local soccer.