Ocala Stampede

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Ocala Stampede
OcalaStampede.gif
Full name Ocala Stampede
Nickname(s) The Stampede
Founded 2011
Ground Trinity Catholic Celtics Stadium
Ocala, Florida
Ground Capacity 3,000
Owner Bill Reed
General Manager Christopher Coley
Coach Cheyne Roberts
League USL Premier Development League
2014 1st, Southeast
Playoffs: Southern Conference Champions
Website Club home page
Current season

Ocala Stampede is an American soccer club based in Ocala, Florida that plays in the USL Premier Development League, the fourth division of the American soccer pyramid.

History[edit]

Ocala Stampede was granted a franchise in the PDL on December 28, 2011, and began play in the 2012 PDL season.[1] The Stampede was founded as a Christian sports ministry, much like fellow PDL side, Mississippi Brilla, as well as several other outlets in the Southeastern United States.

2012 Season: The Stampede started off their history with a bang, going unbeaten in their first four contests (3-0-1). Their first ever victory was over VSI Tampa Bay FC, 4-2 on May 6, 2012.[2] After their momentum was temporarily derailed, a mid-season coaching change (Matt Weston taking over for the departing Anderson DaSilva), helped the team quickly get back on their feet and end the season on another unbeaten streak, this time eight games (7-0-1). This helped propel the team to win the Southeast Division of the PDL Southern Conference, which enabled them to be one of four host cities for the 2012 USL-PDL playoffs (round of 16 and round of 8). Their record was 11 Wins, 3 Losses and 2 Ties. The Stampede was defeated by the Austin Aztex 3-2 in the Conference Semifinals.[3]

2013 Season: Through winning their division in 2012, the Stampede qualified for the 2013 US Open Cup. They defeated Red Force FC 4-2 in the first round on May 14, then lost to USLPro's Orlando City 2-1 on May 21.[4][5]

The 2013 regular season saw a new coach, former Charlotte Eagles player Cheyne Roberts, and a virtually new roster from top to bottom (all 11 starters were new in 2013). Even with wholesale changeover, the team was again able to make its mark. Their 40 goals scored was tied for 2nd most in the PDL. They again won the PDL Southeast Division title in 2013 with a record of 11 Wins, 3 Losses and no Ties. The Stampede lost to the Laredo Heat 2-0 in the Conference Semifinals.[6]

2014 Season: In 2014 the team continued their division success, netting their 3rd consecutive Southeastern Division Championship. After a slow start to the season (a loss to MLS bound Orlando City in the 1st round of the US Open Cup and a draw and a loss to start the regular season campaign), the team unleashed a 14 game unbeaten streak, which carried into the Southern Conference playoffs, with a defeat of the Laredo Heat in the round of 16 (1-1 AET final [5-3 in PKs]),[7] and a conference clinching victory over the 2013 Defending Champs the Austin Aztex, 2-0 on Austin's home field.[8] The team will play in the USL-PDL Championships on August 1, 2014, vs the Kitsap Pumas.

Overall: In the three year period since they began play (2012-2014) the Ocala Stampede has been the most successful USL-PDL team during the regular season (alongside the Austin Aztex), totalling 99 points in the standings.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Regular Season Win Loss Draw Playoffs Open Cup
2012 4 USL PDL 1st, Southeast 11 3 2 Conference Semifinals Did not qualify
2013 4 USL PDL 1st, Southeast 11 3 0 Conference Semifinals 2nd Round
2014 4 USL PDL 1st, Southeast 9 1 4 Conference Champion 1st Round

Team Achievements[edit]

  • USL PDL Southern Conference Champions 2014
  • USL PDL Southeast Division Champions 2014
  • USL PDL Southeast Division Champions 2013
  • USL PDL Southeast Division Champions 2012

Player Honors[edit]

Year Pos Player Country Honor
2012 M Douglas Dos Santos Brazil Brazil All-Conference Team (Southern)
2012 F Karamba Janneh The Gambia Gambia All-Conference Team (Southern)[9]
2014 F Ilija Ilic Serbia Serbia All-Conference Team (Southern)[10]
2014 D Ben Knight England England All-Conference Team (Southern)
2014 F Karamba Janneh The Gambia Gambia All-Conference Team (Southern)

Team Honors[edit]

Year League Award Name Nominated or Won
2012 USL PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year Award [11] Nomination
2012 USL PDL Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award [12] Nomination
2013 USL PDL Broadcast Award [13] Nomination

Notable Former Players[edit]

Name Country Tenure Notable For
Bitielo Jean Jacques Haiti 2012 Plays professionally for Orlando City SC (USLPro).[14] Was a member of the 2013 Haitian National Team for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup[15][16]
Richmond McCarthy Ghana 2012 Was a valuable defender in the team's inaugural season. Passed away unexpectedly before the start of the 2013 season. Is the only player to have his jersey number retired by the club (#5). His jersey frequently accompanies the team on their bench.
Tishan Hanley Saint Kitts and Nevis 2012 Plays professionally for Richmond Kickers (USLPro)[17]
Chris Griebsche Germany 2012 Named CAA Player of the year for 2013 while at Hofstra. Also named to the "Hottest Guys of College Sports" list by Seventeen Magazine [18]
Joe Dawkins New Zealand 2012 First captain in team history. Four year starter at University of South Florida (USF). Currently plays professionally in New Zealand.[19]
Douglas Dos Santos Brazil 2012 Played professionally in USLPro in 2013 (VSI Tampa Bay FC)
Verneri Valimaa United States 2013 Plays collegiately at the University of North Carolina. Was a top recruit coming out of high school
Rafael Alves Brazil 2013 Made a name for himself as a set piece specialist, scored multiple times from 30 yards out or more. Now plays for the NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.[20]

Head Coach History[edit]

  • Brazil Anderson DaSilva (2012)
  • England Matt Weston (2012)
  • United States Cheyne Roberts (2013–present)

External links[edit]

References[edit]