Tuesday, December 9, 2008
TAMPA, FL – The list of 90 participants for the third annual USL Men’s Player Showcase presented by UMBRO was unveiled. The event will be hosted by the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium December 14-16, providing top professional coaches an opportunity to scout potential professionals from the PDL, college ranks and beyond.
This year’s edition of the USL Men’s Player Showcase drew more than 250 applicants from an elite pool of collegiate and international talent. As with previous showcase events, the majority of selected players are drawn from USL’s Premier Development League with 68 of the 90 players having PDL experience.
Among the players on the list were six PDL 2008 All-Conference Selections, which was led by 2008 All-League honoree Adam Gazda of the Reading Rage. Joining him as PDL honorees headed to Charleston was teammate James Taranto, Leonardo Barros (Baton Rouge Capitals), Will Beauge (Ottawa Fury), Brandon Swartzendruber (Thunder Bay Chill) and Tom Heinemann (St Louis Lions), who was also honored in 2007. Another two-year PDL All-Conference selection in Michigan Bucks forward Jake Stacy (2006-07) was also invited to the combine.
Swartzendruber heads a list of seven players from the teams that have claimed the past three PDL championships. He is joined by his Chill teammates Nolan Intermoia and Brandon Jones as well as Laredo’s Silas Blackwell and Michigan’s trio of Steve Clark, Ian Daniel and Ty Shipalane.
Last season the USL Men’s Player Showcase provided an affordable platform for 90 elite prospects to display their abilities to a number of top clubs around the world. With numerous players landing professional contracts in Major League Soccer, the USL First Division, the USL Second Division and with international clubs, the USL Men’s Player Showcase has become a critical component of the PDL and the player development structure within USL.
All players and coaches involved with the showcase will be staying on Daniel Island near the stadium at the Official Host Hotel: Hampton Inn Charleston – Daniel Island.