The Derby City Rovers are pleased to announce the signing of Aleksi Pahkasalo for the 2016 PDL season. The Finland native was a fan favorite in 2015 when he played in 9 matches and scored 2 goals for the Rovers. Pahkasalo tallied an impressive 24 goals and 8 assists, ranking 2nd in all of the NAIA in goals scored and points this past fall at powerhouse Lindsey Wilson College. The junior midfielder was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and selected as an All-American.
"Aleksi will be an important part of our set-up this season as he understands the system we want to play and has the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball," said Head Coach Lee Chalmers.
More player announcements are expected in the coming days as Derby City counts down to their 2016 PDL opener on Friday, May 27, 7:30pm at Woehrle Field. Visit roverssoccer.com to view their complete 2016 PDL schedule and purchase tickets.
The highest level of amateur soccer in North America, the PDL has a history dating back more than two decades that has helped top-level players rise to the professional ranks. Among the PDL’s alumni are players such as U.S. Men’s National Team members Brad Guzan, DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes and Geoff Cameron. More than 200 PDL alumni competed in the 2015 Major League Soccer season, with another group of league alumni set to begin their professional paths following the recent 2016 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Md.
The PDL has provided a major development platform for future professional players, with 12 of the league’s current membership being owned and operated by an MLS or USL club, or holding a partnership with an MLS or USL club. Seventy percent of the players selected in the MLS SuperDraft over the past seven years are PDL alumni, while Homegrown Players such as Gyasi Zardes, Harry Shipp, Darwin Jones and Jay Chapman also competed in the league on their path to the professional ranks.
The PDL has received strong support from both Major League Soccer and the USL as it provides a proven pathway to the professional ranks for top college-aged players in North America.