Hershey Wildcats

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Hershey Wildcats
HersheyWildcats.PNG
Full name Hershey Wildcats
Nickname(s) Wildcats
Founded 1997
Dissolved 2001
Stadium Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Ground Capacity 15,641
Owner Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R)
Coach United States Bob Lilley
League USL A-League

Hershey Wildcats were a professional soccer team, based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, that played in the USL A-League between 1997 and 2001. The team was owned by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. The team played in Hersheypark Stadium, located at Hersheypark, and received its name from the Wild Cat roller coaster. In the Wildcats 5 year history they avg. attendance was 3,189 per game.

History[edit]

The Wildcats were moderately successful in their short existence, with Bob Lilley coaching the team for its entire five-year run, leading the Wildcats to the playoffs in each season.[1] In 2001, Hershey reached the A-League finals but were defeated 2-0 by the Rochester Raging Rhinos.[1]

Less than a week after the championship match, in October 2001, Hershey Entertainment announced that the Wildcats were folding.[2] Weak attendance, including a crowd of only 750 for the 2001 playoff semifinal, was a factor in the decision to fold the team.[2][3] With the league unable to find a new owner for the club, the players became free agents.

Notable players that played for the Wildcats and then went on to play in Major League Soccer include Jon Busch and Christof Lindenmayer.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup Avg. Attendance
1997 2 USISL A-League 1st, Atlantic Division Semifinals Round of 16 3,138
1998 2 USISL A-League 2nd, Atlantic Conference Semifinals 2nd Round 3,794
1999 2 USL A-League 1st, Atlantic Conference Semifinals Did not qualify 3,978
2000 2 USL A-League 3rd, Atlantic Conference Quarterfinals Did not qualify 2,214
2001 2 USL A-League 1st, Northern Final 3rd Round 2,911

Former players[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Impact hire Lilley as head coach". CBC Sports. 2002-01-23. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ a b Jeff DiVeronica (2001-10-20). "Hershey Wildcats folding". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Hershey Wildcats' folding takes many by surprise". York Daily Record. 2001-11-01.