Barons unveil 2009 PDL schedule

The club's 13th season opens on May 9 at Carey Stadium against the Westchester Flames

The Ocean City Barons will open their 13th season in the United Soccer Leagues at Carey Stadium on May 9 when they welcome the Westchester Flames. For the fifth year in a row, the Barons will play 8 of the 16 regular season games at "The Beach House", where they are 20-6-6 since moving there in 2005.

2009 Ocean City Barons schedule
May 9 vs. Westchester Flames (OCQ) 7:00 p.m.
May 17 vs. Long Island Rough Riders (OCQ) 7:00 p.m.
May 22 at New Hampshire Phantoms (OCQ) 7:30 p.m.
May 23

at Rhode Island Stingrays (OCQ)

7:00 p.m.
May 31 at Newark Ironbound Express 4:00 p.m.
June 5 at Ottawa Fury 7:00 p.m.
June 13 at Westchester Flames 5:30 p.m.
June 17 at New Jersey Rangers 7:00 p.m.
June 20 vs. Brooklyn Knights 7:00 p.m.
June 23 at Long Island Rough Riders 7:00 p.m.
June 27 vs. Rhode Island Stingrays 7:00 p.m.
July 1 vs. Newark Ironbound Express 7:00 p.m.
July 4 vs. Ottawa Fury 3:00 p.m.
July 11 vs. New Hampshire Phantoms 7:00 p.m.
July 15 at Brooklyn Knights 8:00 p.m.
July 19 vs. New Jersey Rangers 7:00 p.m.
July 24-26 Divisional Championship Playoffs  
July 31-Aug 2 National Quarterfinals / Semifinals  
Aug 8 PDL Championship Game

FSC - TV

OCQ - U.S. Open Cup Qualifier

The 2009 league format sees the PDL increase to 68 teams divided by four conferences and 8 total divisions. The Eastern Conference will return to a two-division look with the Barons competing in the Northeast Division. Joining them in the division are the Long Island Rough Riders, New Hampshire Phantoms, New Jersey Rangers, Newark Ironbound Express, Ottawa Fury, Rhode Island Stingrays, Westchester Flames and last year’s Northeast Division champion, the Brooklyn Knights. All of the teams from last year’s division are the same except for Ottawa, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Since the 2005 season, the Barons have been the only PDL team in the state of New Jersey, but this year, they are joined by the Newark Ironbound Express and the New Jersey Rangers, who are based in northern part of the state. Three veteran clubs from the Empire State make up the remainder of the division with the Westchester Flames, Long Island Rough Riders and last year’s surprise Eastern Conference champion, the Brooklyn Knights. Both the Knights and the Flames are celebrating their 10th year as USL franchises, while 2009 marks the 16th season for the Rough Riders.

The two Divisional Winners in the Eastern Conference will advance to the conference playoffs, where they will be joined by the runners-up from each division. The winner of the Eastern Conference playoffs, which is scheduled to take place during the last weekend of July, will advance to the National Semfinals the following weekend. The PDL championship will take place on August 8.

As in years past, the first four games of the season will double as qualifiers for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Open Cup, established in 1914, is the oldest annual team tournament in American sports. The Cup is the only tournament is American sports where teams from every level of play, from your local recreation league team to Major League Soccer, are able to compete against each other in a single-elimination format. The Barons have qualified for two of the last three Open Cups and last year made a splash by upsetting Crystal Palace Baltimore, a professional team from the USL Second Division, by a score of 1-0.

"This year’s team will be made up of some of the best talent South Jersey has to offer," said Holloway. "We are excited about playing another summer of soccer at the beach and continuing our fantastic relationship with the city of Ocean City."

Last year, the Barons finished the regular season with a 6-5-5 record (3-3-2 at Carey Stadium). Their fourth place finish wasnt good enough to make the Eastern Conference playoffs, with the club hoping for a swift return to the post-season.

Field