BYU Men’s Soccer Unveils 2015 PDL Team

March 6th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

 

BYU celebrates a goal.

(Photo courtesy: BYU Soccer)

Soccer fans along the Wasatch Front are spoiled.

The region doesn’t just boast Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake, or its companion team in USL Pro, Real Monarchs SLC. Travel 40 minutes southbound on I-15, and you’ll see soccer being played in the non-descript fourth division of the American soccer pyramid, the Premier Development League.

Brigham Young University has competed in the PDL since 2003, when it left the ranks of the Collegiate Club Soccer Championships to join the USL-backed league of semiprofessional squads that include loosely affiliated youth teams of MLS organizations. The Cougars dominated the collegiate club scene for a decade, winning championships in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001. BYU fell from the ranks of the NCAA varsity sports in the late 1970s, and re-grouped as a collegiate club team by 1980, then went on to a run that included 30 straight victories at the Club National Championships.

More than 10 years after the decision join the PDL, BYU announced its 2015 squad last week that includes a bit of an overhaul from last season’s team. Scoring sensation Blake Frishknecht is gone, offer to serve an LDS church mission in Argentina in April, and BYU wrapped up open tryouts in January with its first 20-man roster that reported to practice Jan. 10.

Returning standouts to this year’s team include Brazilian striker Pedro Vasconcelos, utility player Winston Sorhaitz, and defender Junior Lartey. BYU went 7-4-3 in 2014 and advanced to the PDL playoffs for the first time in six years with a second-place finish in the Western Conference’s Mountain division.

Steve Magleby during his playing days with BYU men's soccer. Magleby was hired as an assistant coach under Chris Watkins in 2015. (Courtesy photo: BYU Soccer)

Steve Magleby during his playing days with BYU men’s soccer. Magleby was hired as an assistant coach under Chris Watkins in 2015. (Courtesy photo: BYU Soccer)

COACH MAGLEBY SIGNS ON — BYU’s coaching staff will also have a new look in 2015. After the departure of assistant coach Hugh Van Wagenen, BYU head coach Chris Watkins (who is also an assistant coach on the BYU women’s team) named former BYU player Steve Magleby to its roster of coaches.

Magleby played for the Cougars from 2002-2009, a period that saw the team reach the Western Conference finals in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and 2007, as well as earn U.S. Open Cup berths in both years. Magleby also spent time with RSL’s Reserves in 2007, and he played professionally at Boldklubben Skjold in Denmark in 2010.

He comes to BYU after recent stints at director of coaching for Utah club soccer programs Utah Celtic FC and Utah Rangers FC. In all, Magleby has eight years of coaching experience.

“BYU Soccer has played a huge part in my life,” Magleby said in a statement to BYU Soccer. “I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to be apart of the program and to be able to work with such a great coaching staff, and I hope to be a positive influence on the players coming through the program.”

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for KSL.com. A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

Leave a Reply