The Northwest Division in the PDL has recently become a murderer's row. In 2010 the Portland Timbers U23s won all 16 of their regular season games with a +47 goal differential and went on to win the championship in a league with nearly 70 teams. In 2011, the Kitsap Pumas under head coach Pete Fewing and featuring Sounders keeper Bryan Meredith won the division and went on to give up only a single goal in 4 playoff matches to win their own championship.
Now in 2012 it's the newly reorganized Seattle Sounders U23s — packed with Sounders Academy players — who top the division and are hoping to follow the recent tradition of Northwest Division leaders and earn a PDL champion's trophy.
The division has been a tight race all season with the Sounders, Timbers, Pumas, and the Redmond-based Washington Crossfire jockeying for the division lead, but a big away win over the Pumas on July 6 put the Sounders in the driver's seat and the division was clinched with a win over Fraser Valley two days later.
The team completed their regular season with a 5-1 mauling of Edmonds-based NorthSound Seawolves last night (as the Sounders were winning the US Open Cup Semifinal) and now will face the Crossfire at home on Saturday as their playoff run begins.
If you've been paying any attention to the Academy over the last couple of years, the names on the team should be familiar. Akron's DeAndre Yedlin, Duke's Nick Palodichuk, Wake Forest's Sean Okoli, and local players Darwin Jones and Jamael Cox are all putting in minutes for the team. Definitely worth coming by and supporting the team if you're around Franklin Pearce High School this weekend.