Schippers earned PDL Player of the Week by netting both goals in 2-1 Phantoms win on the road at Cape Cod. The loss the Crusaders suffered was the first time in 28 attempts that a visiting team has celebrated on Cape Cod’s home pitch.
“Believe me, going in there we were hoping for the best, but anytime you play against Cape Cod or any of those teams that go back to the days of the old USL-2; we expect the game to be played at a very high level,” said New Hampshire General Manager Jim DeDeus. “We are extremely happy to have come out of there with a win – even more so when we looked at their website on Monday and realized we were the first team to win there in four years. That is an incredible accomplishment on their behalf.”
Schippers stole the show midway through the first half, scoring in the 32nd and 34th minute, but DeDeusis quick to point out the efforts of midfielder AJ DuBois and defender Joe Annese in bunkering down defensively and preserving the win.
“AJ, like Schippers, is a former New Hampshire Phantom youth player,” said DeDeus. “He really took control of the midfield in the second half of Saturday’s game. Joe was a force in the back throughout the match.”
The top U23 men’s amateur league in North America lives in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the development ground for elite players. The 2008 campaign features a 67-team format within four conferences, consisting of 16 regular season matches, 8 home and 8 away. The schedule is augmented by participation in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and various exhibitions. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professionalized setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest-levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment within their city.