A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC kickoff 2017 Premiere Development League season on Sunday

On Sunday at 6 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University’s soccer stadium, the Cincinnati Dutch Lions host West Virginia Chaos to start the Premier Development League season in the Queen City.

Austin Smythe (Photo by Joe Craven)

The 2017 season marks the fourth season for the Club. After a 2016 US Open Cup appearance, which was Cincinnati’s first Open Cup participant since 2007, CDLFC is now under new ownership and vision.

Founded in 2013, the Cincinnati Dutch Lions were purchased by Hans Philippo and Bob Rack. Under this new ownership group, the Club’s new vision includes player apartments, team bus, new playing and training venue at Northern Kentucky University, and a new attractive style of play.

The Premier Development League (PDL) is the highest level of amateur soccer in the United States. There are 72 teams spread across US and Canada that compete from May to August. The PDL is a true step in the professional soccer developmental pathway as 70 percent of Major League Soccer players have come through the PDL since 2010. Five former CDLFC players have signed professional soccer contracts in the last three years.

Cameron Taylor (Photo by Joe Craven)

Local Players

The 2017 roster includes five players from University of Cincinnati, five players from Xavier University, and one player from Northern Kentucky University. Players from UC include local stars Austin Smythe (Summit Country Day), JJ Iroh (Mason), and Ryan Melink (Loveland). Malik Suleman (2017 UC signee and Cincinnati State alum) and Michael Millay (UC alum and 2016 FC Cincinnati player) round out the Bearcats representing CDLFC for the summer. Josh Grant (Mason) headlines the Musketeers playing for the Dutch Lions this summer. Joining Grant is Cameron Taylor, Sam Sergi, Matt Nance, and Matt Vazquenza. The lone Norseman with the Dutch Lions is Calvin Murphy.


The Cincinnati Dutch Lions will have an eight-game home schedule. Seven games will be played at Northern Kentucky. A June 16 game is slated for Gettler Stadium on the campus of University of Cincinnati; this event is scheduled as a pregame event for a home FCC game. Concluding the CDLFC schedule is a July 17 friendly against FC Cincinnati at Northern Kentucky University.

Tickets are available online at cdlfc.com/shop/ or can be purchased at the gate. Adult (21+) tickets are $8 and student (7-20) tickets are $5, children 6 and under get in free. For more information and a 2017 CDL roster, click here.

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