Six Energy FC U23 players earned conference awards for their performances during the 2016 season. Forward Garrett McLaughlin was named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, while Mauro Cichero was named to the AAC All Conference Second Team.
As a freshman with the Mustangs in 2016, McLaughlin played in all 16 games for SMU, starting 11. He led the team with 11 points including a team-high four goals earning him Rookie of the Year honors and a unanimous selection to the AAC All Rookie Team. During the 2016 PDL season, McLaughlin played in 12 games with Energy FC U23 prior to heading to Southern Methodist University.
With SMU this season, he played in 15 games, starting 14, scored three goals and one assist and led the team with 17 shots on goal. Cichero played four games with Energy FC U23 and registered four goals and an assist.
Energy FC U23 finished their first season of play in PDL with a 10-3-1 record, hosted the Western Conference playoff tournament and finished runner up in the Western Conference Finals.
Other Energy FC U23 members have also earned conference accolades including:
Ben Conway, Incarnate Word - Western Conference Second Team
Chad Dennis, Southwestern Christian University - Sooner Athletic Conference First Team
Josh Taylor, St. Edwards - Heartland Conference First Team
Owain Hoskins, St. Edwards - Heartland Conference Second Team
The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all MLS draftees having PDL experience. Energy FC’s 2016 roster featured 14 players with PDL experience like recently-signed Coady Andrews.