Photo by Ocean City Nor'easters
The 2017 NAIA season proved to be a successful one for PDL alums, as four won a national title with Wayland Baptist and now 13 have been named as All-Americans.
Leading the charge are three first team honorees. At Oklahoma Wesleyan, the duo of Ocean City Nor’easters defender Nikola Fimic and OKC Energy U23 midfielder Nikola Fimic helped lead the Eagles to a massively successful season that saw the team enter the NAIA tournament as the No. 1 seed, but ultimately fell in the national semifinals. Joining the Eagles duo was Fimic's Nor'easters teammate Tyler Collishaw, as the Lindsey Wilson forward helped the Blue Raiders post a perfect 7-0 Mid-South Conference record and earn an NAIA tournament appearance.
On the second team, a further four PDL alums made an appearance. A pair of defenders in Reading United AC's Lamine Conte at Mobile and the Ventura County Fusion's Josh Constant at Westmont both earned honors. In the midfield, North Carolina FC U23's Steeve Pouna made his mark at baker, while Charlotte Eagles forward Joao Costa also performed well at Truett McConnell.
The third team added another six PDL alums to the list of top players. A trio of defenders in SC United Bantams' Erik Tello, the Southern California Seahorses' Nathan Miramontes and the Tri-Cities Otters' Alex Castillo made the cut. Joining them were a pair of forwards in the Charotte Eagles' Mutaya Mwape and Ocean City Nor’easters' Alexander Simovic, with Western Mass Pioneers midfielder Eduardo Zurita rounding out the PDL alums.
Here's a look at the full list of NAIA All-Americans.