USL News Release
Friday, August 5, 2011
BREMERTON, Wash. – USL announced the 2011 PDL honors today, naming the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year at a ceremony held this morning at the 2011 PDL Championship Presented by Umbro in Bremerton Washington. Voting was conducted by PDL coaches and general managers.
Most Valuable Player – Milton Blanco, Fresno Fuego
It would be hard to argue against Blanco, who led the league in points (38) and assists (14) for the Southwest Division champions. A veteran leader for the Fuego, Blanco has had professional stints with USL PRO’s Harrisburg City Islanders as well as Chivas USA of MLS.
Rookie of the Year - Jake Keegan, Westchester Flames
About to enter his junior season for Binghamton University where he stars for Coach Paul Marco, Keegan was a bright spot for the Flames, tallying 16 goals in 16 games to take the league goal-scoring crown. Keegan accounted for 64 percent of Westchester’s goals in 2011 and also finished third in the league in points with 34.
Defender of the Year – Stewart Givens, Michigan Bucks
The first of three Bucks to be honored, Givens was equally effective in both ends of the field for Michigan in 2011. While he was a big reason why the Bucks were one of three teams to allow a league-low nine goals against, the former Oakland (Mich.) University standout also contributed four goals and four assists. Impressively, the Bucks did not allow a goal at home during the regular season.
Coach of the Year – Gary Parsons, Michigan Bucks
In his second year at the helm, Parsons guided the Bucks to a 12-2-2 record and Great Lakes Division championship. Parsons spent 28 years at the helm of the Oakland University men’s program, earning 363 all-time victories, 17 NCAA Tournament berths, seven Summit League Championships, three Summit League Coach of the Year Awards and 27 winning seasons.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Mitch Hildebrandt, Michigan Bucks
Completing the Michigan trio is Hildebrandt, who turned in such an impressive season he was also nominated as an MVP finalist, losing out to Blanco. Entering his senior season at Oakland University, Hildebrandt led the PDL in shutouts (12) and tied for the league lead in wins with 12.