Ocean City Nor'easters

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Ocean City Nor'easters
Ocean City Nor'easters new logo.jpg
Full name Ocean City Nor'easters Football Club
Nickname(s) Nor'easters
Founded 1996 (as South Jersey Barons)
Stadium Carey Stadium
Ocean City, New Jersey
Ground Capacity 3,500
Owner Giancarlo Granese
Head Coach Tim Oswald
League USL Premier Development League
2014 4th, Mid Atlantic
Playoffs: DNQ
Website Club home page
Current season

Ocean City Nor'easters is an American soccer team based in Ocean City, New Jersey, United States. Founded in 1996, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

The team plays its home games at Carey Stadium which is located right next to the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. The stadium's nickname is "The Beach House" and they have played there since 2005. The team's colors are royal blue and white.

They are among the most successful USL Premier Development League teams since joining the league in 2003. From 2003 to 2010, they have the fourth best overall record and the fourth best home record among the 67 PDL teams.[1] They are also one of the best PDL clubs in US Open Cup play, winning six games since 2003 with four of them being upsets of professional teams. Only one team (Michigan Bucks) has more wins and upsets in the tournament.

In 2008 the Barons formed a partnership with Reading of the English Football League Championship. In 2010, following a split between the PDL team and their youth soccer affiliate, the team re-branded to Ocean City FC, adopted Reading's colors, and a similar badge. The team also adopted a new nickname: the Nor'easters.[2]

History[edit]

South Jersey Barons, Division 3[edit]

The club was founded in 1996 as the South Jersey Barons and joined the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (USISL) as a professional franchise, competing in the USISL D-3 Pro League (now the USL Second Division). In 1998, in only their second year in existence, the Barons won the Mid-Atlantic Division title. The next year, they followed that up with a second straight playoff appearance and a run to the USISL D-3 national championship game. On September 11, 1999, the Barons, playing the title game on the road, lost 2-1 to the Western Mass Pioneers. The Barons made a third straight playoff appearance in 2000, but would struggle for the next three years, never finishing above fourth place in the division.

USL Premier Development League[edit]

In 2003, the Barons moved to the USL Premier Development League, and after finishing in fourth place in their first season, they made history in their second season in the PDL. They became only the fifth team ever to go through the regular season with an unbeaten record (14-0-4)[citation needed]. They won the Northeast Division title that year, but their season came to the end in the playoffs. In the conference championship game at McPherson Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, they lost to the Carolina Dynamo 3-2 on a heartbreaking goal in the 90th minute.

South Jersey Barons logo 2000-2004

In 2005, the South Jersey Barons were taken over by local businessmen Russ McPaul and John Granese. Their first act as new owners was to move the Barons to Ocean City, New Jersey and rename the team the Ocean City Barons. The club moved into its new home at Carey Stadium on Atlantic Avenue between 5th and 6th streets.

In their first season at Carey Stadium in the PDL, the club won every game in the regular season at home (8-0-0), and finished with an impressive 12-3-1 overall record under the direction of player/coach/general manager Neil Holloway. By the end of the regular season, their home unbeaten streak had reached 22 games, with their last home loss coming back on June 7, 2003 against the Vermont Voltage. The fans came out to see the Barons win that year, as the club finished with the sixth-best home attendance in the PDL. They hosted the Eastern Conference playoffs, but were upset in the conference semifinals by the Richmond Kickers Future 4-3 on a goal in the final seconds of regulation by Richmond's Dominic Oduro.

2006 marked the 10th season for the Barons organization, but on the field, despite finishing with a winning record, it was considered a down year by club standards. The Barons finished with a 6-4-6 record, which was good enough for second place in the Northeast Division, and they missed the playoffs for the first time since moving to the PDL. The Barons’ home unbeaten streak finally came to an end on July 16 when they lost 2-1 to the Ottawa Fury. The streak, which still stands as a club record, ended at 28 games. Since 2003, no PDL team has achieved a longer home unbeaten streak.

In 2007, long-time Ocean City High School head coach Mike Pellegrino took over the coaching duties and returned the Barons to the playoffs. Their 9-3-4 record earned them a second place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Division. Their impressive home record continued with a 6-1-1 mark and the Barons were selected by the league to host the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second time in three years. Unfortunately, the club lost in the conference semifinals to the Cape Cod Crusaders 5-0 after they had two players were sent off in the opening 24 minutes of the match.


The 2008 campaign was a tale of two halves as the club suffered it’s worst season since joining the PDL. Despite this, they still managed a winning record with 6 wins, 5 losses and 5 draws. The first half of the season, the Barons were unbeaten, with a record of 4-0-4, but the second half of the season was a different story, finishing with a 2-5-1 record. Some of the highlights included Byron Carmichael becoming the club’s all-time leader in goals and points, while finishing the season with an even 100 career points. Ocean City’s 8-1 win over the expansion New Jersey Rangers was a historic one as Steve Miller scored the club’s third hat trick in franchise history and it was the most goals scored in a game and the largest margin of victory that the club has ever enjoyed as a member of the PDL.

The Barons bounced back from a disappointing 2008 season with one of the club’s greatest campaigns in 2009. In addition to a pair of professional team upsets in the US Open Cup and a date with DC United of Major League Soccer, Ocean City had a great regular season and a historic postseason run. After a 9-4-3 record earned them a third place finish in the competitive Northeast Division and a spot in the postseason, they made history with two playoff wins before advancing to the PDL Quarterfinals. The Barons eliminated the Long Island Rough Riders, the second best defensive team in the PDL, 2-0 in the opening round, giving OC their first playoff win since 2004. In the next round, the Men In Red handed the undefeated Ottawa Fury their first loss of the season with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win on a 98th minute goal by Tyler Bellamy. The playoff run would come to an end in Des Moines, Iowa where they lost to the Chicago Fire Premier 3-0.

Rebrand as the Nor'easters[edit]

The club rebranded itself after the 2009 season, becoming the Ocean City Nor’easters and adopting the color scheme (royal blue & white) of English club Reading. However, in their first season with their new identity in 2010, the team struggled, finishing with a 5-6-5 record, their first losing season since they joined the PDL in 2003. By and large, the team featured a very young, inexperienced roster and failed to qualify for the post-season and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The season could have been different with a few different bounces of the ball, as four of the six losses suffered were by one goal.

The 2011 season was one of high promise that teetered on the edge of success. The Nor’easters finished with a 2-6-8 record knowing that if they had turned the ties into victories then the season would have had a completely different look to it. The young players from the U20 Men continue to push into the first team and the Nor’easters Academy is already proving successful with the likes of Mitch Grotti, Jerry Guzzo and Gio Tacconelli all graduating to the PDL first team in 2011.

The Ocean City Nor’easters began the 2012 season with a change of Head Coach with Neil Holloway concentrating on his General Manager duties and Rutgers-Camden coach Tim Oswald joining the team. The Nor’easters put together a strong, deep roster that saw them go on a 13-3-0 regular season record which resulted in them winning the Mid-Atlantic Division and qualifying for the 2013 US Open Cup. Ocean City Nor’easters recorded one of their biggest attendances of 1,175 for their final home game as the supporters gave their appreciation for the exciting and successful season.

Ocean City FC in the US Open Cup[edit]

Adding to their success in the league, the Barons have also qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on five occasions. They made their first appearance in 2002, their final year as a professional franchise. That year, they defeated Vereinigung Erzgebirge of the USASA 4-0 in the first round, but were eliminated in the next round 1-0 by the Hampton Roads Mariners, who played in the level above the Barons, in the A-League (now called the USL First Division).

In 2004, the year of their undefeated league season in the PDL, they began the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of the USASA’s Allied SC, and once again met an A-League team in the second round. The Syracuse Salty Dogs were the club, which featured Anthony Maher, the older brother of the Barons’ Matt Maher. It was only the second time in the Professional Era (1995–present) of the Open Cup that two brothers played against each other in a Cup game[citation needed]. The original match seemed to be heading in the Barons’ direction in the 75th minute with the score tied at 1-1, and the Salty Dogs playing with nine men. Unfortunately for the underdogs, the referee abandoned the match at that point due to lightning and darkness. Six days later, the match was replayed, and despite Neil Holloway giving the Barons a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute, Syracuse was too strong, knocking the Barons out of the tournament by the score of 4-2.

The following year, the Barons made a return to the Cup and made their biggest impression in club history. They began as they had the previous two tournament appearances with a 3-0 shutout win over historic USASA club, New York Greek-American Atlas. The Barons would host their second round match against the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL Second Division, and they used their home field advantage at Carey Stadium to thrash the Rough Riders 4-0. Ruben Mingo, Tony Donatelli, Chris Williams and Steven Wacker all scored in one of the second round’s biggest upsets.

In the third round, the Barons were on the short end of a historical Open Cup match in Richmond, Virginia. Again, weather played a role, postponing the original game date, and a week later, the match was delayed by two hours. When the match was finally completed, the Barons had lost to the Richmond Kickers of the USL First Division, 8-4. The Kickers answered Byron Carmichael’s opening goal, with four straight tallies in the first half. Just before halftime, Carmichael cut the lead to two, and just after the break Tony Donatelli’s goal made it 4-3 in the 54th minute. However, the home side was too strong, and with the Barons pushing for an equalizer, the Kickers opened the floodgates. 12 goals was the most total goals scored in an Open Cup match since professional teams began entering the tournament in 1995[citation needed]. The four goals conceded by the Richmond Kickers was the most they had allowed in their Open Cup history.

After missing out on the tournament in 2006, the Barons returned to the Cup in 2007 and began at home with a 1-0 upset over Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division. They hosted the second round as well and lost 2-1 to the Harrisburg City Islanders in one of the more exciting matches of the 2007 Open Cup. The Barons had three balls cleared off the line in the second half, but they weren’t able to equalize.

2009 was a landmark season for the Barons in the Open Cup as they qualified for the Open Cup for the fourth time in the last six years. But the biggest highlight was the fact that Ocean City faced off with a club from Major League Soccer for the first time in franchise history. The Barons’ run in the tournament began with a shocking 3-0 home upset of Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division. Byron Carmichael was named TheCup.us Player of the Round after scoring a pair of first half goals and J. T. Noone would put the nail in the coffin with a second half goal. The upsets at The Beach House continued in Round 2 when the Barons’ Tunde Ogunbiyi shutout the Real Maryland Monarchs of the Second Division and Noone converted a penalty kick in the second period of overtime to put the Barons into the third round by a score of 1-0. With the win, Ocean City became only the sixth amateur team in Open Cup history to register back-to-back wins over professional teams. In Round 3, the Barons would put a scare into DC United but would fall 2-0 to the defending Open Cup champs on a wet night at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Maryland.

As a PDL team in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Ocean City have six wins with four of them being upsets of professional clubs. Only one other PDL team has more wins and upsets in the tournament. After not qualifying for the US Open Cup tournament from 2010-2012, the Ocean City returned to Cup action in 2013 defeating the New York Red Bull U-23's in the First Round at Carey Stadium 2-0.[3] In the 2013 2nd Round they defeated USL Pro side the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-0 at Carey Stadium.[4]

Open Cup Results[edit]

Year League Represented Round Opponent Opponent's League Result
2002 D3 Pro 1st Round @ Vereinigung Erzgebirge USASA W, 4-0
2nd Round vs. Hampton Roads Mariners A-League L, 1-0
2004 PDL 1st Round vs. Allied S.C. USASA W, 5-0
2nd Round vs. Syracuse Salty Dogs A-League L, 4-2
2005 PDL 1st Round @ Greek American AA USASA W, 4-0
2nd Round vs. Long Island Rough Riders USL-2 W, 4-0
3rd Round @ Richmond Kickers A-League L, 8-4
2007 PDL 1st Round @ Crystal Palace Baltimore USL-2 W, 1-0
2nd Round vs. Harrisburg City Islanders USL-2 L, 2-1
2009 PDL 1st Round vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore USL-2 W, 3-0
2nd Round vs. Real Maryland Monarchs USL-2 W, 1-0 (AET)
3rd Round @ D.C. United MLS L, 2-0
2010 PDL Did Not Qualify
2011 PDL Did Not Qualify
2012 PDL Did Not Qualify
2013 PDL 1st Round vs. New York Red Bull U-23's NPSL W, 2-0
2nd Round vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL Pro W, 1-0
3rd Round @ Philadelphia Union MLS L, 2-1

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of July 14, 2011.[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK John McCarthy[6]
2 United States DF Sal Pistone[7]
3 United States MF Alex Weidman[8]
4 United States DF Kevin Strunk[9]
5 Scotland MF Mark Leslie[10]
6 Republic of Ireland DF Larry Mahon[11]
7 United States MF Max Hamilton[12]
8 United States DF Dwayne Dove[13]
9 England MF Terry Gibbs[14]
10 United States MF Giancarlo "Johnny" Granese[15]
11 England DF Jack Bailey[16]
12 United States FW Matt MacWilliams[17]
No. Position Player
13 United States GK Patrick Hannigan
14 Trinidad and Tobago MF Jidell Roach[18]
15 United States FW Steven Miller
16 United States MF Byron Carmichael[19]
17 United States MF Kevin Curran[20]
18 United States MF Glenroy "Junior" Chapman[21]
19 United States FW Jeff Pio[22]
22 United States DF Christopher Williams
23 United States MF Kameron Teel[23]
United States FW Giovanni Tacconelli

Notable former players[edit]

This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional soccer after playing for the team in the Premier Development League, or those who previously played professionally before joining the team.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
1997 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 6th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify Did not qualify
1998 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 1st, Mid Atlantic Division Semifinals Did not qualify
1999 3 USL D-3 Pro League 2nd, Northern Final Did not qualify
2000 3 USL D-3 Pro League 2nd, Northern Conference Quarterfinals Did not qualify
2001 3 USL D-3 Pro League 6th, Northern Did not qualify Did not qualify
2002 3 USL D-3 Pro League 4th, Atlantic Did not qualify 2nd Round
2003 4 USL PDL 4th, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2004 4 USL PDL 1st, Northeast Conference Finals 2nd Round
2005 4 USL PDL 2nd, Northeast Conference Semi-Finals 3rd Round
2006 4 USL PDL 2nd, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2007 4 USL PDL 2nd, Mid Atlantic Conference Semi-Finals 2nd Round
2008 4 USL PDL 5th, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2009 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northeast PDL Quarter-Finals 3rd Round
2010 4 USL PDL 6th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify Did not qualify
2011 4 USL PDL 7th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify Did not qualify
2012 4 USL PDL 1st, Mid Atlantic Conference Semi-Finals Did not qualify
2013 4 USL PDL 1st, Mid Atlantic National Semi-Finals 3rd Round
2014 4 USL PDL 4th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify 2nd Round

Honors[edit]

  • 2013 USL PDL Eastern Conference Champions
  • 2013 USL PDL Mid-Atlantic Division Champions
  • 2012 USL PDL Mid-Atlantic Division Champions
  • 2004 USL PDL Northeast Division Champions
  • 1998 USISL D-3 Pro League Mid Atlantic Division Champions 1998

Organizational Awards[edit]

  • 2008 USL PDL Organization of the Year
  • 2007 USL PDL Communications Award
  • 2007 USL PDL Executive of the Year (Neil Holloway)
  • 2006 USL Hall of Fame Inductee ("10+ club")
  • 2005 USL Progress Award

Head coaches[edit]

Stadia[edit]

Average attendance[edit]

Attendance stats are calculated by averaging each team's self-reported home attendances from the historical match archive at http://www.uslsoccer.com/history/index_E.html.

  • 2005: 877 (5th in PDL)
  • 2006: 419
  • 2007: 588
  • 2008: 339
  • 2009: 258
  • 2010: 323

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.oceancityfc.com/docs/aboutoceancityfc/OceanCityFC-TeamRecords.pdf
  2. ^ Ocean City FC unveils new nickname: Nor'easters
  3. ^ Nor'easters blow by Red Bulls' U-23 team in U.S. Open Cup opener - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports
  4. ^ Ocean City Nor'easters Did It - Ocean City FC
  5. ^ United Soccer Leagues (USL)
  6. ^ http://www.goexplorers.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/mccarthy_john00.html[dead link]
  7. ^ Stockton Athletics - Men's Soccer: Roster
  8. ^ Alex Weidman Biography - GoMuhawks.com—The Official Web site of Monmouth University Athletics
  9. ^ http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/msoccer/rosters/displayPlayer.asp?PLAYER_ID=6199[dead link]
  10. ^ Limestone Athletics - Mark Leslie - 2010 Men's Soccer
  11. ^ Limestone Athletics - Larry Mahon - 2010 Men's Soccer
  12. ^ Max Hamilton Biography - GoMuhawks.com—The Official Web site of Monmouth University Athletics
  13. ^ Vermont Catamounts Athletics - Dwayne Dove - 2010 Vermont Men's Soccer
  14. ^ Bloomfield College Athletics - Terry Gibbs - 2009 Men's Soccer
  15. ^ GoHofstra.com - The Official Website of Hofstra Pride Athletics
  16. ^ Limestone Athletics - Jack Bailey - 2010 Men's Soccer
  17. ^ http://www.owlsports.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3114&path=msoc[dead link]
  18. ^ http://www.goexplorers.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/roach_jidell00.html[dead link]
  19. ^ Ocean City FC
  20. ^ Kevin Curran Bio - Loyola University Maryland Official Athletic Site
  21. ^ http://www.goexplorers.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/chapman_glenroy00.html[dead link]
  22. ^ http://www.goexplorers.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/pio_jeff00.html[dead link]
  23. ^ Immaculata University
  24. ^ Matt Driver resigned during the 2002 season and was replaced by Sam Maira
  25. ^ a b c http://www.oceancityfc.com/docs/OceanCityFC-AllTimeResults.pdf
  26. ^ Neil Holloway was the team's player/coach/general manager during the 2005 and 2006 seasons
  27. ^ New Era At The Nor’easters As Tim Oswald Becomes Head Coach
  28. ^ Ocean City FC

External links[edit]