The USL released the 2009 Premier Development League schedule on Wednesday. The PDL will consist of 68 teams in 2009, playing in eight divisions that comprise the four conferences. The league will play a 16-game season for the sixth straight campaign with games based primarily upon their divisional alignment. The season will open May 1 and conclude July 19.
Included is the Rochester Thunder, one of the newest teams in the PDL. Other expansion teams that have been formally announced to date are the Real Colorado Foxes, Forest City London, Portland Timbers U23, Victoria Highlanders, Rio Grande Valley and Midland (TX). Three additional expansion teams are yet to be officially announced.
The Rochester Thunders schedule was included, as the team enters their inaugural season in the league. The schedule has the team playing 5 games in May, 6 in June and 5 in July. The team will play 5 home games in a row, in a stretch from May 15th through June 6th, but then has them playing only one home game in July with the other four being away.
The playoffs structure was also released at USL.com. The winners of the PDL Semifinals will square off in the PDL Championship Saturday, August 8 on Fox Soccer Channel. Divisional playoff hosts are based on overall seeding, pending availability, with all other playoff site locations determined by bid.
Saturday May 9 Rochester Thunder @ Des Moines Menace 8:30 PM (OCQ) – Valley Stadium
Sunday May 10 Rochester Thunder @ St. Louis Lions 6:00 PM (OCQ) – Tony Glavin Complex
Friday May 15 Real Colorado Foxes @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM (OCQ)- Rochester Community Technical College
Saturday May 23 Kansas City Brass @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM (OCQ) – Rochester CTC
Sunday May 31 St. Louis Lions @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Friday June 5 Thunder Bay Chill @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Saturday June 6 Thunder Bay Chill @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Saturday June 13 Rochester Thunder @ Springfield Demize 8:30 PM – Cooper Sports Complex
Sunday June 14 Rochester Thunder @ Kansas City Brass 6:00 PM – William Jewell College
Friday June 26 Springfield Demize @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Sunday June 28 Des Moines Menace @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Friday July 3 Rochester Thunder @ Real Colorado Foxes 8:30 PM – Shea Stadium
Saturday July 4 Rochester Thunder @ Real Colorado Foxes 8:30 PM – Shea Stadium
Wednesday July 8 Des Moines Menace @ Rochester Thunder 8:00 PM – Rochester CTC
Wednesday July 15 Rochester Thunder @ Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 PM – Chapples Park
Thursday July 16 Rochester Thunder @ Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 PM – Chapples Park
(OCQ) stands for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier. The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest sporting tournament in the U.S. and is comparable to the domestic cups world wide. Just like those tournaments, the Open Cup format allows for the smallest of teams to conceivably play a top team in the country if they should advance that far.