Mountain Lion Alumni Friesen, Goldberg to make Pro Soccer Debuts with Panama City Beach

By Nate Gibson published May 17, 2012

Panama City Beach, FL:  As the NCAA promotes, for most student athletes participating in college sports, rarely do those athletes get the opportunity to continue their career at the professional level.  In fact, the NCAA's tagline has become, "There are more than 380,000 student-athletes [competing in the NCAA], and most of them will go pro in something else."

For Mountain Lion Soccer Alumni and recent graduates from UCCS, Matthew Friesen and Eric Goldberg, their dreams of playing soccer in their post-collegiate careers will become a reality this weekend when their team, the Panama City Beach Pirates, will take on Orlando City.  After graduating from UCCS, both former standouts on the UCCS Soccer team we invited to play for Panama City.  In terms of professional soccer, Panama City Beach is a member of United Soccer League (USL) and competes in the Southwest Division, within the 73 team Premier Development League (PDL), which competes in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. The Panama City Beach Pirates will be comprised of a blend of players who played at the NCAA & NAIA collegiate levels as well as International players and local players from within Northwest Florida.

For those unfamiliar with how US Soccer and the various professional leagues operate, the PDL acts much like a "minor league" or developmental league for players to work their way up to Major League Soccer (MLS) or USL-A League teams.  In the past 5 years, 75% of players drafted by MLS teams played in the PDL.

PDL Southeastern Division franchises includes note-able franchises such as Mississippi Brilla, Jacksonville Destroyers, Ocala Stampede, Orlando City Lions, IMG Academy Braedenton, Tampa Vision Pro and Ft. Lauderdale Schultz.

For more information on the team or to follow Friesen and Goldberg, go to the below link to check out the Panama City Beach Soccer website:

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
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