Two clubs that traveled a long way to play for a league title won their respective honors in National Premier Soccer League and Premier Development League championship matches on Sunday.
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The host venues were a two-hour drive apart, but PDL champion Calgary Foothills FC and NPSL victors Miami FC are based more than 3,000 miles apart.
FC Motown’s impressive first season in the NPSL was not enough for a championship, as ex-NASL side Miami FC headed up north and made Paul Dalglish in unusual company: A manager whose won league titles in both the PDL and NPSL.
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Dalglish told ProSoccerTalk before the game that he wanted this one bad, and his men went out and worked hosts FC Motown to the tune of 3-1.
“When I won the PDL, we hosted the final,” Dalglish said. “The two MLS Cups were in neutral venues, so this is the first time I’m going to the lion’s den. … You’ve gotta run and fight and scrap til your lungs burn to enjoy it.”
Dylan Mares was named Man of the Match, scoring Miami’s second goal with a terrific free kick. Also scoring were Jeff Michaud and Jonny Steele, who bagged this beauty.
Meanwhile, Calgary Foothills FC paved their coach’s path to the Canadian Premier League with gold during and after a terrific extra time win over Reading United in Pennsylvania on Saturday in the PDL final.
Ali Musse scored twice, the second in extra time, and Dominick Zator equalized with five minutes to play as Calgary won 4-2. Nico Pasquotti also scored for Foothills.
Aaron Molloy and Kieran Roberts scored Reading’s goals, the former buttressing his reputation as the league’s top prospect with a free kick goal.