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Sosa earns all-PDL status

John Sosa celebrates his goal in a 2-0 win over Thunder Bay on July 9.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011 – John Sosa is among the Premier Development League’s top 11 players, chosen from nearly 2,000 in the 64-team league.
 
The Des Moines Menace midfielder has earned a spot on the PDL’s 2011 all-league team, voted on by team management and announced today by the United Soccer Leagues.
 
Sosa finished the regular season with a team-best 22 points, on six goals and 10 assists. He scored both of the Menace’s goals in a season-ending loss on Friday (July 29) – a 3-2 overtime decision against host Michigan in the Central Conference semifinals.
 
A captain for head coach Laurie Calloway’s side (12-4-0 regular season), Sosa set a club-record on May 21, when he assisted four goals in a 5-1 win over St. Louis. His final assist of the season – setting up Lebogang Moloto’s goal in a 1-0 win at St. Louis on July 24 – secured Des Moines’ 11th playoff appearance. It also gave him the team lead in points; Deshorn Brown collected 21 points in 10 matches.
 
The Menace congratulates Sosa on becoming just the second Menace player to land on the all-league squad; the legendary Tomas Boltnar earned all-league status in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
 
The USL announced the all-conference teams yesterday, when Sosa became the fifth player in franchise history to earn all-conference recognition. He joins Logan McDaniel (2010), Joe Salem (2008), Danilo Oliveira (2006) and Boltnar (2003, 2005 and 2006). The league did not start the annual tradition of naming all-league and all-conference teams until 2003.
 
A native of St. Cloud, Fla., who was born in Colombia, Sosa is one of three all-conference players from the Heartland Division. Thunder Bay’s Wilson Rodriguez Nato – also chosen for the all-PDL team – and Brandon Swartzendruber are the others. The remaining all-Central Conference members came from the Great Lakes Division.
 
Stephen Okai, who played for the Menace in 2010, earned a spot on the Eastern Conference Team, as a midfielder for Reading (Penn.).
 
The PDL – the highest amateur level of the United Soccer Leagues – is made up of four conferences. The postseason champion of each conference has advanced to this weekend’s PDL Championship, with the final set for Saturday. Friday’s semifinals pit Thunder Bay against host Kitsap (Wash.) and Long Island (N.Y.) against Laredo (Texas).
 
 
2011 PDL All-League Team
GK – Mitch Hildebrandt, Michigan Bucks
D – Dillon Barna, Ventura County Fusion
D – Stewart Givens, Michigan Bucks
D – Wilson Rodrigues Neto, Thunder Bay Chill
D – Daniel Scott, Kitsap Pumas
MF – Daniel Barrera, Ventura County Fusion
MF – Jonathan Mendoza, Central Florida Kraze
MF – John Sosa, Des Moines Menace
F – Milton Blanco, Fresno Fuego
F – Chandler Hoffman, Orange County Blue Star
F – Jake Keegan, Westchester Flames
 
2011 PDL Central Conference Team
GK – Mitch Hildebrandt, Michigan Bucks
D – Kevin Cope, Chicago Fire
D – Stewart Givens, Michigan Bucks
D – Jonathan Raj, Chicago Fire
D – Wilson Rodrigues Neto, Thunder Bay Chill
MF – John Sosa, Des Moines Menace
MF – Albert Edward, River City Rovers
MF – Thomas Catalano, Michigan Bucks
F – Adam Mena, Indiana Invaders
F – Branden Stelmak, Cincinnati Kings
F – Brandon Swartzendruber, Thunder Bay Chill
 
 
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ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the highest amateur level of soccer in North America. The Menace plays its home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics and tournaments.
 
 
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