D.C. United Under-23 team to compete in Premier Development League in 2015

D.C. United has announced that the club has formed a partnership with Evergreen FC for the D.C. United U-23 team that will compete in the Premier Development League in 2015.

"We are pleased to have our U-23 team competing in the PDL during the summer of 2015,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “This will provide a meaningful competition to enhance the summer experience for both our returning college academy players and for talented college players from across the country.”

The D.C. United U-23’s will be coached by Evergreen FC Technical Director Richie Burke, who has a wealth of experience with the Black-and-Red, including serving as a First Team assistant coach under Ray Hudson and being extensively involved in the launch of the D.C. United Academy. Burke recently returned to the Washington area to Evergreen FC after serving as head coach of Livingston FC in the Scottish Championship from 2011-13. D.C. United Under-18 Head Coach and Head Scout Tom Torres will serve as assistant coach.

“I’m so happy to be back with D.C. United, where I have great history over many years,” said Burke. “A great group of players have come through the D.C. United Academy, and getting to work with players of that caliber is a fantastic challenge. I’m looking forward to it very much.”

With a pool of 28 players, the U-23 squad will feature D.C. United Academy alumni as well as top collegiate, international and domestic players. The team will play in the PDL Mid-Atlantic Division, and all home games will take place at the Evergreen Sportsplex in Leesburg, Va.

The Premier Development League featured 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada in 2014, including 12 teams affiliated with USL PRO or Major League Soccer clubs. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all MLS draftees having PDL experience. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.

Open tryouts for the U-23s will occur over the coming months; those who are interested should visit dcunited.com and EvergreenFC.us for more information.

2015 D.C. United U-23 schedule

Sun., May 17 at New York
Sat., May 23 vs. Ocean City
Sat., May 30 at Long Island
Sat., June 6 at Reading
Sat., June 13 at Baltimore
Sat., June 19 vs. Reading
Sun., June 21 vs. Jersey Express
Sat., June 27 vs. Lehigh Valley
Sun., June 28 vs. New York
Wed., July 8 vs. Baltimore
Sat., July 11 at Westchester
Sun., July 12 at Ocean City
Sun., July 19 vs. F.A. Euro