The Marquette duo of Paul Dillon and Axel Sjoberg will play for a league title before heading back to Milwaukee to start the college soccer season.
Dillon set up the opening goal and the defenders helped the Thunder Bay Chill blank the Victoria Highlanders 2-0 in a semifinal of the USL Premier Development League Championships on Friday night in Austin, Texas.
The Chill (15-1-1) will face the host Austin Aztex in Sunday night's final – the Aztex (14-1-2) got past the Ocean City Nor'easters 1-0 in the first semifinal. Thunder Bay will be playing in its third PDL championship game, having outlasted the Laredo Heat in penalty kicks to win the title in 2008 and then falling to the Portland Timbers Under-23s in the 2010 final.
The first goal Friday night came on a combination play between Dillon and Sergio Campano Franco in the 55th minute. The Spaniard played the ball wide to Dillon, who sent it back in and saw Campano Franco hit a volley from 20 yards out that slipped through the hands of Victoria goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou. It was Dillon's sixth assist of the season.
Dillon and Sjoberg both played the full 90 minutes as the Chill recorded their 11th clean sheet of the year and third in as many playoff matches. Sunday's match will be streamed live on USLnation.com, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
The Aztex are coached by Paul Dalglish, the son of Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish and a former professional player himself. They also have shut out all three of their postseason opponents.
Madison 56ers general manager Cristian Brei was named the Midwest Region Central Conference commissioner and will serve on the league's Board of Directors. Brei's top priority in the position will be to bring in at least two more teams to the Central for the 2014 season – the conference has had five teams for the past two years.