Cope Named PDL Defender of the Year
Aug. 14, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State junior Kevin Cope (Canton, Mich.) was recently named the Premier Development League (PDL) Defender of the Year after an impressive summer campaign with the Michigan Bucks.
Cope is a standout defender who is expected to challenge for top billing among defensive players in the ultra-compeititve Big Ten Conference this coming season. The redshirt junior was dealt a devastating blow in the Spartans' second game of the 2011 fall campaign at Connecticut, suffering a season-ending injury. Granted a medical redshirt for the season, Cope was able to compete in spring ball for the Spartans and was able to regain his top form in the PDL over the summer months competing with the Bucks.
Cope helped his summer squad to a regular-season championship with a 13-1-2 overall record. During the run, the Bucks had the most impressive run of any PDL side in the U.S. Open Cup - a 3-1 record which included upset wins over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO and Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.
Individually, Cope appeared in all but one of the Bucks' regular season contests. The former Chicago Fire PDL standout continued his stellar form with the Bucks, scoring four goals in addition to his defensive duties.
Healthy and again in top form, Cope has recently helped lead the Spartans through their first week of pre-season camp, welcoming 10 new players to the roster this fall.
" I am really happen for Kevin, especially when you look at how disappointing our 2011 season was for him with a tough injury," said head coach Damon Rensing. "For him to work his way back to become the top defender in the PDL is a testament to his character and work ethic. Certainly, we will count on him this fall, and I think his future in soccer is bright."
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