Arun Basuljevic (New York Red Bulls U-23), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls U-23) and Adam Najem (Michigan Bucks) were all named to the PDL Top 20 Prospect list that was released Wednesday afternoon. All three players are Red Bulls Academy products.
More than 20 scouts across North America provide the PDL with valuable insight on players who are performing at the highest level within the league, possess strong technical and tactical qualities and have the potential to play at the professional level.
Listed at number five in the Top 20 Prospect List, Basuljevic is playing in his second PDL season with the Red Bulls U-23s. The Mahopac, N.Y. native won the U-18 and U-16 Development Academy National Championship with the Red Bulls Academy and captained the U-18 squad that championship year. Last season, the Red Bull U-23s finished their campaign as runners up losing to K-W United FC in the league final.
After finishing his second college season at Georgetown, Basuljevic was named to the 2015 All-BIG EAST First Team after starting all 21 games and helping Georgetown win both the BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament titles. The midfielder completed the season with six goals, five of which were game-winners, and four assists. In 2014 he was named Soccer America Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the Men's All-Freshman First Team.
Coming in at number seven on the Top 20 Prospect List, Christopher Lema is now playing in his third season with the Red Bull U-23s. Lema was a member of the 2015 squad that finished runners up in PDL and won the 2014 NPSL Championship. Along with Basuljevic, Lema won both the U-18 and U-16 Development Academy National Championship as a member of the Red Bulls Academy.
Lema plays along side Basuljevic at Georgetown University where he was named to the 2014 BIG EAST All-Rookie squad. He appeared in 21 games for the Hoyas with six starts to his credit that season. In 2015, Lema made 21 appearances starting 20 of them, collecting one assist.
Listed as the number four in the Top 20 Prospect List, Najem is competing this season with the Michigan Bucks after spending the 2015 PDL season with the Red Bulls U-23s. Along with Basuljevic and Lema, Najem was a member of the team that finished runners up in PDL last season. Najem has been in the Red Bulls youth system since he was 11-years-old and also won the U-16 Development Academy National Championship where he had the game-winning assist.
Playing his college soccer at Akron, Najem was named a MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List player before the season even started, the highest individual award in college soccer. The midfielder started all 23 games for Akron, registering team-high marks in assists (11), points (31), shots (68), shots on goal (31) and game-winners (4), while ranking second in goals (10). He was named All-MAC First Team, NSCAA Second Team All-America and Academic All-MAC. He also helped the Zips win the MAC Championship and advance to the 2015 NCAA Final Four in Kansas City.
Top 20 Top Prospects
1. Jon Bakero - Midfielder - FC Tucson
2. Sergio Camargo - Midfielder - K-W United
3. Christian Chaney - Forward - Fresno Fuego
4. Adam Najem - Midfielder - Michigan Bucks
5. Arun Basuljevic - Midfielder - New York Red Bulls U23
6. Alhassan Abubakar - Defender - Michigan Bucks
7. Christopher Lema - Midfielder - New York Red Bulls U23
8. Nathan Aune - Defender - Washington Crossfire
9. Miguel Jaime - Midfielder - Ocean City Nor'easters
10. Jose Hernandez - Midfielder - FC Golden State Force
11. Paul Christensen - Goalkeeper - Sounders FC U23
12. Bradley Fountain - Midfielder - Reading United AC
13. Nathan Regis - Forward - Ocean City Nor'easters
14. Lucas Coutinho - Midfielder - South Florida Surf
15. Marvin Hezel - Defender - FC Miami City
16. Macauley King - Defender - Charlotte Eagles
17. Tom Paul - Defender - Mississippi Brilla FC
18. Elvir Ibisevic - Forward - Des Moines Menace
19. Russell Cicerone - Midfielder - Michigan Bucks
20. Vadim Cojocov - Forward - St. Louis Lions