|From left to right: Technical Director Dave Castellanos, Sporting Director Tim Oswald, Goalkeeper coach Tyler Stakiwicz
The Ocean City Nor'easters' all-time leader in Premier Development League (PDL) coaching wins is returning to the club as the new Sporting Director.
Tim Oswald re-joins the club after stepping down as head coach following last season's PDL Eastern Conference championship season.
Along with Oswald's return to the Nor'easters, the club is announcing two new additions.
Dave Castellanos joins the club as the new Technical Director, and Tyler Stakiwicz takes over as an assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers under first-year head coach John Thompson.
"I have always had a very deep and positive relationship with the Nor'easters," said Oswald. "Essentially, after I resigned from the position, I had a lot of interaction with John Thompson as we worked to transition roles and for him to take over as the head coach. Throughout that process, we shared some ideas, thoughts, philosophies and methodologies on best practices with the PDL team and what we learned as a staff over the previous five years. As we continued to discuss players and the 2017 roster, I was very much still linked to the club's progression and the Sporting Director role just evolved from there."
Oswald was the Nor'easters' head coach for five seasons from 2012-16 and finished as the club's all-time leader in PDL victories with a 47-19-6 record. He led the club to a pair of Mid-Atlantic Division titles (2012, 2013), two Eastern Conference championships (2013, 2016), reaching the PDL National Semifinals in both seasons. Oswald was also a finalist for the PDL Coach of the Year award in 2012.
He also led Ocean City to a pair of appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2013, 2014). In 2013, the Nor'easters earned the club's fifth all-time upset of a professional team as they knocked off the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL before narrowly falling to the Philadelphia Union of MLS at PPL Park in the Third Round.
During Oswald’s five years with the Nor'easters, 33 players have moved on to play the game at the professional level both domestically and overseas, including 10 players who have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft in the last three years alone.
The Philadelphia native is also the head coach of the University of Rutgers-Camden men’s soccer team since 2006. During his time at Rutgers-Camden, he has broken the school record for wins, led the Raptors to four conference championships, five NCAA tournament appearances, and a run to the NCAA Division III national championship game in 2013. The 2013 NSCAA Division III National Coach of the Year has led Rutgers-Camden to a pair of Top 5 finishes and is one of the winningest college coaches in the country.
David Castellanos (Philadelphia, PA)
Castellanos brings a wealth of experience to the Nor'easters' Technical Director position, both as a player and a coach. Castellanos, who grew up in Philadelphia, played his college soccer at Mercer County Community College before transferring and winning the 2000 NCAA title with the Connecticut Huskies (he assisted on a goal in the NCAA Final). Castellanos also represented his country at the Under-17 and Under-20 national team level. After UConn, Castellanos turned pro, playing for CD Motagua (Honduras), Colorado Rapids (MLS), Minnesota Thunder (A-League), and the Virginia Beach Mariners (USL First Division). He later played indoor soccer for the Philadelphia Kixx where he won the 2006-07 MISL championship alongside Ocean City alums Tony Donatelli, Pat Hannigan and Steve Wacker.
While playing for the Kixx, Castellanos was named the head coach at Penn State-Abington in 2006 and has remained there ever since. In 10 years, he has tallied more than 90 wins and has made five ECAC tournament appearances. Castellanos is also very familiar with the Nor'easters because he coached against Ocean City for three years as the head coach of their rivals at Reading United AC from 2013-15. During those three seasons, United was 3-1-2 against the Nor'easters, reached the PDL playoffs twice and qualified for the US Open Cup all three years. He guided Reading to four wins in the Open Cup, including the club's first-ever win over a professional team (1-0 vs. Harrisburg City Islanders in 2013). Prior to his arrival in Reading, the club had won just one Open Cup game in club history. Last year, he took the reigns at Lehigh Valley United before joining the Nor'easters in the offseason.
"I am extremely excited to work with a professional organization like the Ocean City Nor'easters," said Castellanos. "Ocean City has a strong tradition of excellence. They've achieved so much and won so many games over the years while playing in arguably the toughest division in the PDL. As a former head coach at Reading United and Lehigh Valley United, I've had first-hand experience of the quality product they put out on the field, and the committed ownership group that leads them. I'm excited to bring my experience as a former player and coach to guide an already outstanding coaching staff that helps prepare players for the professional level while maintaining our reputation as one of the most successful clubs in league history."
During his three seasons as head coach with Reading United, Castellanos saw 23 players sign with professional clubs. Oswald is excited about the experience that Castellanos will bring to the club and his eye for talent.
"Dave has an incredible skill set," said Oswald. "He has worked in the PDL as a head coach, so he knows what players are needed to excel at this level. He has created his own scouting network that he will continue to operate with at the college and pro levels. He has won a national championship and played at the professional level. All of those experiences are vital and can deliver so much back to our organization and to our players.
"As a college head coach at a local Division III program, he will work hand in hand with myself and Coach Thompson as we create the best training structure possible for our players," Oswald added. "He was a can't miss guy for us to bring in and I am very happy he has decided to grow the club with us."
Tyler Stakiwicz (Delran, N.J.)
Assistant Coach / Goalkeeping Coach
The Nor'easters franchise has always had a strong tradition of goalkeepers with 13 netminders moving on to play professionally over the last 10 years. Stakiwicz will take charge of the Nor'easter goalkeepers, a role he has enjoyed at the Rutgers men's program since last year. Prior to joining the Scarlet Knights, he enjoyed a successful career as a goalkeeper at Montclair State before joining his alma mater's coaching staff as a goalkeeping coach where the Red Hawks reached the 2011 Final Four and finished with a 91-18-8 record during his time there.
The Delran, New Jersey native who also earned a law degree from the Rutgers School of Law-Newark, has extensive experience at the youth soccer level. He serves as the goalkeeping coach at Players Development Academy (PDA) where he works with the Under-18, Under-16 and Under-14 teams in the USSDA.
"When I first met Stak [when he was an assistant] at Montclair State, he had a tireless energy in that setting and has now moved on to Rutgers as an assistant in the Big Ten Conference," said Oswald. "Tyler brings us a full range of services, from ID'ing top Division I talent, to working in PDA's youth academy in the USSDA setting. He will be a go-to guy for us as we ID top top players at the D1 level and at the 17-18 age range that are just coming out of the academy structure before college. This will allow us to take our already strong ability to recruit and take it to a new level."
For Sporting Director Tim Oswald, the hope is that these new additions to the technical staff will help the Nor'easters defend their 2016 Eastern Conference title and take the next step and bring a PDL championship to the city of Ocean City.
"I think we have created one of the top structures across the country and a staff that has so much to offer to the players, the organization, and the community," said Oswald. "I am very excited that we have been able to put this group together and we now have the chance to accomplish so much as we have our eyes fixed on a PDL title."