United Bring Home First PDL Championship
Posted 04 August 2015 1:44 pm
K-W United FC are Premier Development League champions for the first time in the clubs history. United finished the teams thirdseason in the PDL in style Sunday afternoon in Tukwila, Washington by defeating New York Red Bulls U23 4-3 in a hard fought victory.
United ran out with a 3-0 lead in the first and a penalty save from goalkeeper Nathan Ingham in the late stages of the game secured the victory for the Black and Blue of K-W.
Yet another goal from forward Ben Polk put United on the board early in the 7th minute. After winning a free kick on left side of the penalty box, Liam Callahan whipped in a low cross that Polk converted on the one timer to give his side the 1-0 lead.
The goal was Polk's team leading 13th on the season and put an exclamation on his impressive second half of the season.
Ingham made sure to keep his side up when he came up with a big stop from in close 13 minutes later. New York midfielder Brian White managed to sneak behind the United defence and turned a strong header on net that was turned over the bar by the outstretched arm of the United keeper.
Ingham was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the PDL championship weekend during the awards ceremony following the game.
Joel Perez would add to United's lead in the 33rd minute to continue United's strong start to the game. Right back Ridge Robinson managed to escape a couple Red Bull defenders down low and squared the ball to a wide open Perez in the box who, similar to Polk, finished into the bottom left corner with his first touch.
The Canadians would make it three just before the half through a nice finish from forward Jarek Whiteman. The Brampton, Ontario native picked up the ball at midfield, breaking through several defenders before slotting the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Evan Louro.
New York would get one back seven minutes into the second half when Scott Thompson converted a free kick from 30 yards out, driving a curling shot into the bottom of the net and out of the reach of a sprawling Ingham.
United would restore their three goal lead 10 minute slater when Juuso Pasanen put up number four for his side. After a great individual run from Julian Bscher down the middle of the Red Bull defence, the German tapped it across the box to his teammate who made no mistake with the finish.
Bscher scored the winning goal in United's semi-final victory over Seattle Sounders U23 Friday night with a magnificent free kick in stoppage time that sealed the 1-0 victory.
Rhys Williams net the second of the game for New York in the 69th minute, cutting the deficit to two. Thompson sent a low cross into the United box that got past several defenders and fell to the back post for Williams who latched on to it and got the decisive touch on the ball.
The goal made it just the sixth time in 19 games the United defence have allowed two goals or more in a game.
New York were gifted an opportunity right back into the game when Ken Krolicki hauled down Christopher Thorsheim in the box, awarding them a penalty with 10 minutes left in the game.
Thompson, the captain of the Red Bulls, stepped up to take the spot kick and had his low shot to the bottom right corner of the net stopped by Ingham, preserving the two goal lead.
The Americans would convert another free kick in the 83rd minute to make up for the penalty miss and make it a one-goal game with seven minutes to go. Arun Basuljevic curled the ball into the back post that found Brian White who redirected it on goal for the headed marker.
With mere minutes left, United put all their players behind the ball in an effort to protect the slim lead. New York were unable to create another goal scoring opportunity, and salt was added to the wound when forward Zach Knudson was sent off in stoppage time for his second yellow card.
With the victory, United become just the third Canadian side to win the PDL since it was established in 1995, following in the footsteps of Thunder Bay Chill (2008), and rivals Forest City London (2012). It also signifies the retention of the PDL trophy in the Great Lakes Division after the Michigan Bucks were crowned league champions in 2014.
United conclude the 2015 season with a 16-2-1 record and two trophies after victory in the Umbro Cup against rivals London in June in head coach Chris Pozniak's debut season in management.