The Mid Atlantic Division was very tight at the top in 2017, with the leading two teams within one point of one another at the conclusion of the season.
Ending with a one-point advantage atop the division, the New York Red Bulls U23 emerged on top of the Mid Atlantic Division, securing one of the two available playoff spots, with Reading United AC falling just shy in second place, but earning the second playoff spot.
Here's a closer look at the Mid Atlantic Division's Season in Review.
Photo by Evergreen FC
Record: 1-11-2, -28 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 7th
MVP: Lewis Long - 4 goals, 1 assist
The 2017 season didn’t start ideally for Evergreen FC, as the team dropped its first three matches of the year to FA Euro New York and back-to-backs against the Ocean City Nor’easters. It seemed that things might turn around in late May/early June, however, as the team managed a 1-1 draw with Lehigh Valley United before turning around to take their first win of the year over the Jersey Express on June 3. The 3-1 victory would prove the high point of the season however, as Evergreen would drop eight of their remaining nine matches consecutively before drawing against FA Euro New York in their final match and concluding the year at 1-11-2. The team struggled offensively, scoring just 1.00 goals per game, though bright spots came from Lewis Long, with four goals and an assist, Ethan Emmons with three goals, and William Cooke who recorded two goals and an assist. Defensively, the team surrendered 3.00 goals allowed per game, with William Bush and Edgar "Kent" Legg struggling in goal, but with Sean Connolly proving bright with a 1.00 GAA in his five appearances.
Photo by FA Euro New York
Record: 3-10-1, -27 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 5th
MVP: Charlie Ledula - 2 goals
FA Euro New York opened their season with promise, taking a 2-0 win from Evergreen FC to start the year on a positive note, but unfortunately that would not last. After their initial win, the team would go on to drop five straight before finally getting their second win of the year on June 17 from Lehigh Valley United. But it was back down after that and another three losses before a third win came from Lehigh Valley as well. After concluding their final three matches with two losses and a draw, FA Euro New York found themselves in the lower half of the Mid Atlantic Division. While the team defensively had its struggles, with Brian McPartland posting a 2.40 GAA in the majority of the time on the field, it was offensively that FA Euro New York hit a stumbling block. The team’s 12 goals scored was a division-low and Alexis Santa, Charlie Ledula and Jason Lampkin settled for a tie atop the team’s leaderboard with two goals each, though Santa also added two assists.
Photo by Jersey Express
Record: 5-9-0, -9 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 4th
MVP: Harry Pearse - 3 goals, 10 assists
2017 was an up-and-down year for the Jersey Express, with the second-half of the season playing out much more favorably than the opening seven matches, in which the team went 1-6-0. The Express bounced back nicely from their early struggles, ending the season by going 4-3-0 over their final seven matches, concluding the year on a positive swing. The team certainly wasn’t lacking offensively, with their 28 goals good for third in the division, and that’s where most of the team’s bright spots could be found. No player shined brighter than Harry Pearse, as the talented midfielder notched only three goals, but compiled a very impressive 10 assists on the season. Benefitting from Pearse’s service was Romario Pinto Goulart, who put in five goals on the season, as well as a handful of other teammates who recorded three each. Defensively, the team had issues, with Daniel Vitiello taking most of the time in net and giving up more than two goals per game.
Photo by Lehigh Valley United
Record: 4-9-1, -11 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 6th
MVP: Seiji Rose - 2 goals
If the Jersey Express started slow and bounced back, Lehigh Valley United did the opposite in 2017 and that led to almost the same resulting record. Lehigh started the year looking like a playoff contender, with a 3-2-1 record over their opening six matches. Things would unfortunately slow down, however, and the team would earn just one more victory over their final eight matches alongside seven losses. Lehigh was in the lower-half of the division in terms of offensive statistics, with Mark Forrest scoring three goals, Jordan Poarch scoring two and an assist, and Seiji Rose knocking in two as well. Defensively, the team was fairly impressive, with the fourth-best goals-against record in the division. Benjamin Sauer had the most time in goal, and posted a spectacular 0.63 GAA, while Cameron Keys took most of the remaining time and struggled a bit with a 2.15 GAA.
Photo by New York Red Bulls U23
Record: 12-1-1, +37 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 1st
Playoffs: Lost in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
MVP: Brian White - 17 goals, 3 assists
2017 was another massively successful year for the New York Red Bulls U23, as they edged out Reading United AC for the Mid Atlantic Division title with a dominant 12-1-1 record. The team won every match it played bar two, a tight 2-1 loss to the aforementioned Reading, and a 1-1 draw against third-place Ocean City Nor’easters, hardly bad showings. The team emerged as a contender immediately, winning their first seven consecutive matches, combined with additional three- and two-match winning streaks later in the year. The Red Bulls U23 also had the easiest MVP selection of all-time, as Brian White earned both PDL Golden Boot and MVP honors, making him the clear choice for his team. Which isn’t to say his teammates weren’t impressive, as Zach Knudson also recorded double-digit goals with 11 on the year, and Jose Aguinaga recorded seven goals and four assists. The team was equally as impressive in goal, where Benjamin Lundgaard saw the most time and allowed a mere 0.85 GAA over the entirety of the season, leaving the Red Bulls U23 as deserving champions.
Photo by Ocean City Nor'easters
Record: 9-4-1, +12 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 3rd
MVP: Fredlin Mompremier - 8 goals, 3 assists
The Ocean City Nor’easters would’ve been playoff-bound in most other years with their impressive 9-4-1 record, but phenomenal seasons from the Red Bulls U23 and Reading United AC cast them to a third-place finish. The Nor’easters started the year brilliantly, taking their first three matches consecutively, but then ran into the aforementioned top two and dropped each of those matches. However, the Nor’easters were the only team in 2017 to take positive results from the top two, aside from one another, stealing a draw against the Red Bulls U23 and defeating Reading United AC in the late-season. While the Nor’easters were as defensively impressive as their two superiors, with Todd Morton allowing an astounding 0.80 GAA over his ten matches, and the team allowing just 14 goals all year. It was offensively where the team lagged behind, though several players still had phenomenal years, including Fredlin Mompremier with eight goals and three assists, Ismael Noumansana with five goals and four assists, and Ignacio Tellechea with five goals and one assist.
Record: 12-2-0, +26 GD
Mid Atlantic Division Finish: 2nd
Playoffs: Lost in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
MVP: Aaron Molloy - 7 goals, 1 assist
Reading United AC was a playoff team in 2017, but will probably feel like an opportunity to be division champions slipped through their fingers. The team finished just one point behind the Red Bulls U23 for the top spot, likely due to a shock late-season loss to the Ocean City Nor’easters that would’ve been enough to propel them upwards. Still, the division’s best defensive team can hardly complain, as they allowed just 10 goals in 14 matches, with Alexandre Bouillennec, at an absurd 0.40 GAA, and Benjamin Lundt, with an also-incredible 0.57 GAA, thriving in net. The team had more difficulty offensively, but still benefited from amazing seasons by Frantzdy Pierrot with eight goals and one assist, Aaron Molloy with seven goals and one assist, and Hugo Delhommelle with three goals and five assists. Combine that with a seven-match winning streak in the middle of the year, and Reading United can only be counted as having had a successful 2017 season.