ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Multiple members of the St. Bonaventure University men's soccer team will return to campus this week as champions.
Senior Paul Afful and junior Kosi Nwafornso were members of the Charlotte Eagles of the Premier Development League (PDL) national champions, a squad that captured the league title in front of over 1,300 fans in North Carolina on Saturday.
Both players spent the summer playing for the Eagles as part of the PDL, the top amateur soccer league in the United States. Charlotte won the PDL crown by way of a 2-1 victory over the Thunder Bay Chill at the Sportsplex at Matthews Stadium in Matthews, N.C.
Afful, who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team last year following his debut season with the Bonnies, played in 10 matches and nearly 500 minutes during the summer season.
In all, five Bonnies were selected to compete in the prestigious PDL this summer – sophomore defender Jon-Michael Perkins played for FC Boulder U-23 in Boulder, Colo. while junior midfielder Remi Dujardin suited up for Tri-Cities FC in Johnson City, Tenn. and junior Isaiah Wilson spent the summer playing for K-W United in Kitchener, Ontario.
The PDL features 72 franchises in four conferences throughout the United States and Canada, including 16 clubs that are owned and operated by a professional club, or that hold a partnership with a professional club.
Nearly 70 percent of all MLS selections since 2010 have PDL experience.
Afful and Nwafornso weren't the only Bonnies to help their team earn a championship this summer – sophomore defender Nicholas Mazzola was part of the Team Challenger FC squad which captured the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series U19/20 national championship as well.
The Bonnies open preseason camp this week while the season officially begins Friday, Aug. 25 at Bucknell. St. Bona hosts its first home match of the year Friday, Sept. 8 vs. rival Canisius.