April 24, 2012

Gustavo Cunha to Play For PDL Team, Palmetto FC Bantams

Contact Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia men's soccer player Gustavo Cunha has made Palmetto FC, a PDL team located in Greenwood, South Carolina.

Cunha will be the seventh North Georgia player since 2007 to play in the PDL (Premier Development League), following the likes of current players Max Angel, Ben Tayi, Juan Hurtado and Miki Bozickovic.

Also playing in the PDL are former standouts Rade Tanaskovic and Ben Chedgy.

"It shows very well for our program that we have high level players that can play with the best of them." said North Georgia men's soccer head coach Pat Parris.

The league is very competitive and has done an exceptional job of improving the already very skilled players. Not just any player can make the PDL, the teams host tryouts and send invites to fill their rosters, as the league is become quite prestigious over the years.

The play on the field by Angel, Tayi, Hurtado and Bozickovic has been vastly improved by their playing time in the PDL. Chedgy and Tanaskovic also earned All-Region honors, a product of playing such competition.

Cunha will be a senior next season for the Saints, after he started in 16 of the team's 17 games in 2011. He scored two goals and added two assists as one of the leaders for North Georgia.

Palmetto FC Bantams selected 22 players from over 100 players who tried out, an even more impressive feat for Cunha. There are 13 difference colleges represented on the team this season.

The team will be coached by Lander head coach Van Taylor, who is also very familiar with Cunha having coached against him in the Peach Belt Conference this season.

"Van knows the game very well and will have a good team this summer to compete for a title." said coach Parris. "There is a strong advantage to playing in the PDL, this opportunity will allow Gustavo to come back to the team in great shape for the 2012 season."

Cunha will certainly benefit from playing in the PDL, and will have an opportunity to put an inaugural team on the map.

"The PDL team in South Carolina is going to be a great experience playing in a higher division league with D1, D2 and even former pro soccer players. I am really excited and happy that I will have this opportunity and can't wait to pay against these top ranked players," said Cunha.

The USL-PDL is the top developmental men's league in North America, and last season featured 73 teams within four conferences across the United States and Canada.

The PDL season consists of 16 regular season matches for each team, eight home and eight away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility.

For more information on the team you can visit their website at http://www.palmettobantamsfc.com/