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2018 PDL Preview: Heartland Division

By COLTON CORESCHI -, 04/27/18, 8:45AM EDT


Chill aim to return to PDL Championship game, Menace look to reclaim division

The Thunder Bay Chill returned to the top of the Heartland Division in 2017, their first title since 2010-13, and ran all the way to the PDL Championship game in August.

The Chill captured their seventh Heartland Division title, with the first six coming in a seven year span from 2007-13, but couldn’t best the Charlotte Eagles in the PDL Championship match. The club narrowly bested the traditional PDL powerhouse Des Moines Menace, who finished in second after winning the past three divisional titles.

Newcomers Kaw Valley FC throw their ring into the divisional hat this year, making their PDL debut in 2018.

Also returning to the division in 2018 are the St. Louis Lions, Chicago FC United and WSA Winnipeg.

Great Lakes Division Breakdown

Chicago FC United

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Home Field: Loyola University
2017 Finish: 4-5-5, 5th in Heartland Division
First PDL Season: 2017
PDL Playoffs Appearances: N/A
PDL Titles: N/A
Notable Alums: Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC), Mark Segbers (New England Revolution)

Des Moines Menace

Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Home Field: Valley Stadium
2017 Finish: 7-5-2, 2nd in Heartland Division
First PDL Season: 1995
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 1995-98, 2001-03, 2005-06, 2009, 2011, 2014-17
PDL Titles: PDL Champion (2005), PDL Regular Season Champion (2002, 2014), Central Conference Champion (2005), Heartland Division Champion (2002, 2009, 2014-16)
Notable Alums: Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders FC), Brent Kallman (Minnesota United FC), Kyle Zobeck (FC Dallas)

Kaw Valley FC

Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Home Field: Rock Chalk Park/Hummer Sports Complex
2017 Finish: N/A
First PDL Season: 2018
PDL Playoffs Appearances: N/A
PDL Titles: N/A
Notable Alums: N/A

St. Louis Lions

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Home Field: Tony Gavin Soccer Complex
2017 Finish: 6-7-1, 4th in Heartland Division
First PDL Season: 2006
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2007, 2014
PDL Titles: N/A
Notable Alums: Lawrence Olum (Portland Timbers), Jacob Bond (Penn FC)

Thunder Bay Chill

Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Home Field: Fort William Stadium
2017 Finish: 9-3-2, 1st in Heartland Division
First PDL Season: 2000
PDL Playoffs Appearances: 2007-13, 2015-17
PDL Titles: PDL Champion (2008), PDL Runner-Up (2017), Central Conference Champion (2008, 2010-11, 2013, 2017), Heartland Division Champion (2007-08, 2010-13, 2017)
Notable Alums: Shaun Francis (Louisville City FC), Kosuke Kimura (Nashville SC), Sean Reynolds (Saint Louis FC)

WSA Winnipeg

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Home Field: Ralph Cantafio Complex
2017 Finish: 2-11-1, 6th in Heartland Division
First PDL Season: 2011
PDL Playoffs Appearances: N/A
PDL Titles: N/A
Notable Alums: N/A

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