The Thunder Bay Chill completed one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of the Premier Development League when it won the 2008 title with a
shootout victory Saturday over the defending champion Laredo Heat in the final before 3,451 fans at Texas A&M International University.
In the process, the Chill became the first
Canadian team to win a PDL title.
Two years ago, Thunder Bay had a 2-11-3 record, its worst record in nine years of play. In 2008, it went 13-2-1 in the regular season and won four
straight games to advance to the final.
Led by U.S. U-20 star and PDL U-19 Player of the Year Felix Garcia
, Laredo dominated play in the first half
and took the lead when Isaac Morales
scored 23 seconds into the second half on a rebound after Garcia's shot a volley of the crossbar, but the Chill
equalized on Gustavo Oliveira
's chip in the 63rd minute.
The Chill prevailed, 4-1, in the shootout, where Stephen
made two saves. AWARDS Most Valuable Player -
Junior Garcia (Yakima) Coach of the Year -
Wolfgang Suhnholz (Austin) Defender of the Year -
Norberto Papandrea (Austin) Goalkeeper of the Year -
Miguel Gallardo (Austin) U19 Player of the Year -
Felix Garcia (Laredo) ALL-LEAGUE TEAM Goalkeeper
Miguel Gallardo, Austin Defenders
Darius Barnes, Cary
Mike Holody, Michigan
Norberto Papandrea, Austin Midfielders
Will Beague, Ottawa
Fabricio Codeceira, Fresno
Adam Gazda, Reading
Nate Jafta, Michigan Forwards
Carlos Araujo, Central Florida
Felix Garcia, Laredo
Junior Garcia, Yakima