Ocala Stampede

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Ocala Stampede
Full name Ocala Stampede
Nickname(s) The Stampede
Founded 2011
Dissolved 2015
Stadium MCYFL Stadium at Jervey Gant Park
Ocala, Florida
Owner Bill Reed
General Manager Tiodis Francisco Martinez
Coach Cheyne Roberts
League Premier Development League
2015 1st, Southeast
Playoffs: Southern Conference Champions
Website Club home page
Current season

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


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 fell to the Kitsap Pumas 2-1 in the 2014 USL-PDL National Semifinals on August 1, 2014 (Pontiac, MI), ending their overall unbeaten streak. The team however will carry a 12-game regular season unbeaten streak into the 2015 regular season.

2015 Season: 2015 Season: The 2015 season could best be described as a season of 'streaks'. At first it looked as tho all of their 'streaks' would be coming to an end. Their 13-game regular season unbeaten streak was snapped on May 27 by FC Miami City. Their home unbeaten steak, which stretched back to 2013, was snapped on June 27 by SW Florida. But most importantly it looked as tho their streak of division championships (3) would come to an end. A rough patch at the end of June saw them on the outside looking in, not just for the division title, but for a playoff spot altogether.

The team however turned it around in a big way, going undefeated in the month of July (4-0-1), culminating with a winner take all matchup for the division title vs FC Miami City on July 18. Ocala came out victorious and took home their 4th consecutive Southeastern Division Title.

The conference playoffs were held in Clinton, MS and after defeating the Midland Odessa Sockers 1-0, the Stampede's season nemesis FC Miami City was again awaiting, this time the winner would be the 2015 Southern Conference Champion. Ocala was once again able to gain the victory, and extend their streak of Southern Conference Championships to two.

The National Championships will take place in Seattle, WA on July 31-Aug 2nd of 2015, with Ocala's semi-final opponent the New York Red Bulls U23s.

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 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 National Semifinals 1st Round
2015 4 USL PDL 1st, Southeast 8 3 3 National Semifinals 1st Round

Team Achievements[edit]

  • USL PDL Southern Conference Champions 2015
  • USL PDL Southeast Division Champions 2015
  • 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 Ilić 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)
2015 M Lewis Hilton England England All-Conference Team (Southern)[11]
2015 D Paco Craig England England All-Conference Team (Southern)

Team Honors[edit]

Year League Award Name Nominated or Won
2012 USL PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year Award [12] Nomination
2012 USL PDL Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award [13] Nomination
2013 USL PDL Broadcast Award [14] Nomination
2014 USL PDL Executive of the Year (Bill Reed)[15] Nomination
2014 USL PDL Organization of the Year[16] Nomination

Notable Former Players[edit]

Name Country Tenure Notable For
Bitielo Jean Jacques Haiti 2012 Played professionally for Orlando City SC (USL Pro).[17] Was a member of the 2013 Haitian National Team for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[18][19]
Richmond McCarthy Ghana 2012 Was a valuable defender in the team's inaugural season. Died 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 Played professionally for Kaya F.C. of the Filipino United Football League and the Richmond Kickers of the USL.[20]
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 [21]
Jo Dawkins New Zealand 2012 First captain in team history. Four year starter and captain at Florida International University. Spent a season with NASL club Ottawa Fury FC. Currently plays professionally in New Zealand and directs the Welling Phoenix Soccer School, the only professional Soccer School in New Zealand.[22]
Douglas dos Santos Brazil 2012 Played professionally in USL Pro in 2013 for VSI Tampa Bay FC.
Verneri Välimaa Finland 2013 Plays professionally for Orange County Blues FC of the USL, on loan from the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies
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 professionally for the NASL's Ottawa Fury FC.
Gerritson Craane Curaçao 2015 Has been capped by the Curaçao national team.

Head Coach History[edit]

  • Brazil Anderson DaSilva (2012)
  • England Matt Weston (2012)
  • United States Cheyne Roberts (2013–2015)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Ocala Stampede Joins USL PDL". United Soccer Leagues (USL). December 28, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.uslpdl.com/stats/2012/2883415.html
  3. ^ "Aztex Advance Against Ocala". United Soccer Leagues (USL). July 20, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "2013 US Open Cup First Round: Ocala Stampede earn first tournament win, 4-2 over Red Force". TheCup.us. May 17, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "2013 US Open Cup Second Round: Orlando City advances with 2-1 road victory over nearby Ocala". TheCup.us. May 22, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Austin, Laredo Advance To Final". United Soccer Leagues (USL). July 26, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.uslpdl.com/home/825935.html
  8. ^ http://www.uslpdl.com/home/826055.html
  9. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/649607.html
  10. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/826256.html
  11. ^ http://uslpdl.com/home/887761.html
  12. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/679314.html
  13. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/679314.html
  14. ^ http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/home/771757.html
  15. ^ http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/home/846896.html
  16. ^ http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/home/846896.html
  17. ^ http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/teams/2014/13380700.html#ROSTER
  18. ^ http://academieimpactmontreal.com/en/impact-u21-falls-2-0-to-haitian-national-team-in-friendly/
  19. ^ http://www.soccerway.com/players/jean-jacques-bitielo/187720/
  20. ^ http://www.richmondkickers.com/teams/65672455/22375-65672522/26591378.html
  21. ^ http://www.seventeen.com/college/advice/hottest-college-athletes-chris-griebsch#slide-16
  22. ^ http://wpss.org.nz/