2017 Season Review: Fuego caps 15th PDL season with run to Western Conference final

fresno fuego futbol

The embers have finally cooled after a scorching season that saw Fuego reach the Premier Development League’s Western Conference final for the fifth time in franchise history. It was the club’s second consecutive trip to the postseason under head coach Brian Zwaschka.

Fuego ended its season as conference runner-up, falling 2-0 in the Western Conference final against Golden State Force FC on July 24 in Bakersfield. Fresno finished with an overall record of 11-3-2 and took second in the Southwest Division standings with 26 points. Conference champions Golden State Force FC won the division with 28 points.

The club’s top scorer Jose ‘Chiva’ Cuevas controls the ball in US Open Cup action vs. Phoenix Rising FC

Earlier that week, Fuego defeated four-time Mountain Division champion FC Tucson 1-0 in Tucson to reach the final, with forward Renato Bustamante scoring the game-winner off his chest.

Fresno finished the 2017 regular season with a nine-game unbeaten streak that included seven consecutive victories.

Defender Sergi Nus logged 1,071 minutes for Fresno and was instrumental in five shutouts to be named 2017 PDL All-League, earning the No. 17 spot in the final Top 20 Prospects list of the season.

Midfielder Jose Cuevas was the team’s leading scorer with 11 goals with Bustamante right behind him at nine. Nus and Cuevas were All-Western Conference selections for 2017, with Bustamante earning an honorable mention.

Goalkeeper Agustin Rey made a total of 48 saves and kept 5 clean sheets this season.


The Fresno Fuego are four-time champions of the Southwest Division in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid and the top level of amateur soccer in North America.

Founded in 2003, the team competes in the Southwest Division of the PDL Western Conference. More than 50 Fuego players have moved on to sign professional contracts. The team plays its’ home games in the heart of downtown Fresno at Chukchansi Park.

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