2015 Season Review
Posted 07 October 2015 9:12 am
The 2015 PDL season was one for the record books for K-W United FC. The team set club records in wins, goals, and longest undefeated streak amongst others during a season that saw them capture a couple of trophies, including the first league championship in team history.
United finished the campaign, their third in K-W, with a record of 16-2-1 (including playoffs).
On route to the historic ending to the season, the team totaled 48 goals for and just 19 against. Having started the season with two wins and two losses in the opening four games, United would go on a surge of seven straight wins before a July 4th, 2-2 draw with TFC Academy. From there, they would go on another seven game win streak, ending with the PDL crown, making it a 15 game unbeaten streak.
Coming into the season, there were high hopes for Head Coach Chris Pozniak's men. President Barry MacLean recruited a core group of players from Syracuse University, Coastal Carolina University, and Florida Gulf Coast University that provided a solid foundation to start the season with.
After the teams inaugural season at University Stadium in 2013 that saw them finish 4th in the Great Lakes Division and just miss out on a spot in the playoffs, things went uphill when they finished second the following year and reached the Central Conference Semi-finals. The aim was to up that, and led by captains Sergio Camargo and Nathan Ingham, they did just that.
Camargo and Ingham were entering their third season with the club and understood the responsibility that came along with the captains armband. Camargo finished the season second on the team in scoring, netting eight goals and adding five assists in 11 appearances. Ingham played in 13 games, conceding just 10 goals and recorded an outstanding seven clean sheets.
The Black and Blue started the season on the road when they took the short trip down the 401 Highway to Toronto to take on the TFC Academy. Despite the harsh weather at the Kia Training Ground, United started on a high, escaping 1-0 winners.
Up next for the team was another tough road game in Michigan against the Bucks, the reigning PDL champions. After picking up the games first goal, the team fluttered to a 3-1 defeat.
United were big 4-0 winners the very next game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds II, but dropped the home opener 3-1 to Forest City London.
Having lost to their fiercest rivals, the defeat appeared to kick start the teams season in which they wouldn't taste defeat again. The unbeaten streak was highlighted by a couple mid season victories against London, resulting in the Umbro Cup returning to K-W for the second season running.
United comfortably took the first leg of the Cup at home with a 3-0 win and clinched it in the second leg in London with a 2-0 victory to hand the team their first silverware of the season.
The team would go head-to-head with the Bucks the rest of the season with both teams vying to top the division. It came down to the final game and United finished just short, finishing one point behind first place, good for 34 points on the regular season and a playoff berth.
With another victory over London in the division qualifier, and a conference semi-finals win over Des Moines Menace, United continued their impressive run with a victory against the Bucks in the Central Conference finals.
The victory saw United travel Stateside to Seattle for the PDL Final Four. Despite a date with the hometown Sounders FC U-23 in the semis, the team proved home field advantage isn't all that important. Julian Bscher fired his team to a 1-0 victory in the dying seconds of the game when he curled in a free kick from 30 yards out.
Just like that, K-W United FC was off to the PDL Finals against New York Red Bulls U-23. United sprung out in front to a 3-0 first half lead. A Red Bulls goal early in the second would cut United's lead to two, but Juuso Pasanen quickly restored the three-goal lead. Two more New York goals would make it 4-3, but that would be as close as they would get.
United were crowned league champions for the first time and put the cherry on top of a highly successful season for the club.
Ingham was voted the PDL Most Valuable Player in the final four round while three players were named to the PDL All-Central Conference team, including: Camargo, forward Ben Polk, who led the team in scoring with nine goals, and versatile player yvind Alseth.
Article by Bassil Thayabeh