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Top PDL honors announced
Yakima’s Junior Garcia named 2008 MVP

USL News Release

Friday, August 8, 2008

TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the top PDL honors for the 2008 season Friday, honoring the All-League selections as well as the U19 Player of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player as voted on by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Most Valuable Player – Junior Garcia (Yakima Reds)

Taking home the top honor of the night as the 2008 PDL Most Valuable Player was Yakima Reds forward Junior Garcia. Garcia had an amazing season for the Reds and almost single handedly kept Yakima in playoff contention. Garcia was the league’s scoring champion with 40 points and goal scoring champion as well, finding the back of the net 15 times.

Garcia started the 2008 campaign on fire, scoring goals in his first five games, and tallying at least a point in his first six. Garcia led the Reds to a third place finish in the tough Northwest Division with a record 9-6-1.

Coach of the Year – Wolfgang Suhnholz (Austin Aztex)

Garcia, Sunholz among four award winners from TexasSuhnholz led the expansion Austin Aztex to a first place finish in the Mid South Division and a berth into the 2008 PDL playoffs. Austin continued the trend of successful expansion teams in the 2008 USL season and Suhnholz’s experience was central to their success. Prior to coaching the Aztex, Suhnholz played for 18 years in both Europe and the United States. Suhnholz was also Head Coach of the US U-20 Men’s National Team from 1999 to 2001.

Defender of the Year – Norberto Papandrea (Austin Aztex)

Papandrea was the anchor of statistically the best defense in the PDL. As commander of the Aztex backline, Austin surrendered only 11 goals in the regular season on their way to a Mid South Division Championship. This native of Argentina also led Austin to their first playoff win in their first season in the PDL.

Goalkeeper of the Year – Miguel Gallardo (Austin Aztex)

Following the theme of postseason awards for the expansion Austin Aztex, Miguel Gallardo was named goalkeeper of the year. Gallardo posted nine shutouts in his 13 games started and also was the GAA Champion at .615. Gallardo was the losing goalie in only three of his 12 starts and heavily contributed to the stingiest defense in the league.

U19 Player of the Year – Felix Garcia (Laredo Heat)

The only member of the PDL Season Awards List to still have business to attend to is Laredo striker Felix Garcia. Garcia led the Heat with 11 goals in the regular season and a spot in the 2008 PDL Championship game. “Felix has such raw skill that it is a pleasure to watch,” said Laredo General Manager J.J. Vela. “He is a humble kid who just knows how to finish.” Garcia is also a member of the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team.

PDL ALL-LEAGUE TEAM
G
Miguel Gallardo
Austin Aztex
D
Darius Barnes
Cary RailHawks U-23
D
Mike Holody
Michigan Bucks
D
Norberto Papandrea
Austin Aztex
M
Will Beague
Ottawa Fury
M
Fabricio Codeceira
Fresno Fuego
M
Adam Gazda
Reading Rage
M
Nate Jafta
Michigan Bucks
F
Carlos Araujo
Central Florida Kraze
F
Felix Garcia
Laredo Heat
F
Junior Garcia
Yakima Reds

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