Israel and Jannelli Head into PDL Finals|
Aug. 2, 2013
CINCINNATI – Many University of Cincinnati men’s soccer players spent their summers participating in various leagues designed for college athletes. While 10 players joined the teams, two have found great levels of success in the United Soccer League’s Premiere Development League (PDL).
Sophomore defender Richardo Israel (Free Town, Jamaica/Lennon) and senior midfielder Peter Jannelli will both represent the Ocean City Nor’easters in the PDL Championship final four. The Nor’easters advanced to the PDL Championships presented by Nike by tying the Carolina Dynamo 0-0 and advancing in a penalty shootout 5-3 in the Eastern Conference final.
“The PDL is a great league because it provides a different atmosphere” said Jannelli. “In college, you have some younger players who have not experienced that level of play before and who may not know how much hard work you have to put in to succeed. In the PDL, everyone is there to improve their game for their college teams or a future professional career. You are playing with and against some of the best college players from around the country. It is a big challenge, but it is also a lot of fun.”
“I did not know that I would be playing in the finals of the PDL, but I am making the best of it” said Israel. “We are playing with players from all over the world, and players who are All-Americans. I am very happy to have this opportunity and I know that Peter and I can make UC proud with the Nor’easters.”
Israel, Jannelli and Co. will face the host Austin Aztex in the semifinal on Aug. 2. The winner will move onto the championship match on Aug. 4 to face the winner of Victoria Highlander FC and the Thunder Bay Chill.
The two Bearcats are proud to represent Cincinnati in the PDL Championship and know that it can only mean good things for their fall season at UC.
“A problem that our UC team often has is that we don’t play with enough confidence” said Israel. “This summer we have a lot of players participating in the PDL and two are in the finals, so it will bring our team together with more confidence. If we all can take what we have learned from the PDL season and bring it back to Cincinnati, it will take our team to another level next season.”
Former UC Bearcats are also making news in their professional leagues. 2013 graduate Matt Bahner was named USL Pro League Team of the Week Honorable Mention on July 30 while Matt Williams has earned the honor twice this season.
The Bearcats will be back on campus this month to begin preparing for the 2013 season. The team will host an exhibition game against Michigan at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19 and will open the regular season against Northern Illinois at 5 p.m. on Aug. 30.