Ocean City honor all-time leading scorer as their first ever Hall of Fame inductee
An air of anticipation will surround Friday night's match against arch-rival Reading United, for more reasons than the clash on the pitch. The Nor'easters welcome back their all-time leader in goals and assists, Byron Carmichael.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Ocean City, NJ - When the Ocean City Nor’easters take on Reading United AC on Friday evening there will be an air of anticipation. Not only because these two divisional rivals are in a Mid-Atlantic playoff battle and their history of beating each other up dates back over a decade, but because there will be something special happening during the game. And that something special will happen when both teams will not even be on the field of play.
During half time Ocean City Nor’easter and PDL legend, Byron Carmichael, will once again take center stage, just as he did during his eight year PDL playing career from 2004 – 2011. The Nor’easters are honoring Carmichael as their first ever Hall of Fame inductee. “For a couple of years now we have been discussing the idea of creating a Hall of Fame to honor the great players we have had throughout our 19 year history”, Neil Holloway, Nor’easter Executive Director commented. “For me, Bryon is a legend, and it is only right that he becomes our first ever inductee”.
Holloway was not only a team mate but also Head Coach and General Manager during Carmichael’s eight years, “He was one of the best target players and one of the best goal scorers I have ever played with and certainly the best I have coached. You could throw him in the team now and I am sure he would still score goals. As a coach he was always the first name on my roster”, Holloway remarked.
Carmichael played 113 games, totaling 7,975 minutes during his PDL career, and he remains the Nor’easters all-time leading goal scorer with 63 goals, and leader in goal assists with 24 assists. It is no surprise that he was the team offensive MVP from 2007 to 2011.
Reflecting back on his career Carmichael spoke of some of the greatest moments in the Nor’easters history, “There are so many memories created from playing with The Nor’Easters that I will cherish for the rest of my life and will be able to tell my daughter Kelsey. Some memories that stand out are playing in the US Open Cup 3rd Round against DC United, travelling to Bermuda for regular season games, winning the Eastern Conference title on the road in Ottawa, a crazy trip to Des Moines, Iowa for the PDL National quarterfinals, to name a few. There are so many”. Carmichael continued, “It’s not fair to just talk about one memory because there are so many great experiences that I was able to contribute to. It was a great eight years playing for one of the best organizations in the PDL. I want to thank all my teammates throughout the years, the OC fans who are the best in the PDL, and everyone for being part of my journey”.
Carmichael spoke with a smile on his face about the Nor’easters historic Lamar Hunt US Open run in 2009, when he was also voted Open Cup player of the round in the 1st round that year. However, that was not his only glory in the Open Cup. His record in the competition is second to none. He scored 9 Open Cup goals and 10 appearances, leading Ocean City to four upsets over professional teams throughout the years.
Ocean City Nor’easters President Giancarlo Granese couldn’t speak highly enough of the club all-time leading scorer “I was lucky to witness Byron at his best, a sensational striker with incredible finishing skills. He had great elevation and was so strong, he was the prototype of what a striker should be”, Granese continued,“ Most importantly he was a friend and a great teammate to all the players. He was a leader on the field and very influential in the locker room, having a positive influence on all the younger players. He was a legend and still is”.
Carmichael is thrilled about his induction, “It is an honor to be the first inductee into the Nor’easters Hall of Fame. I’m very excited to be recognized by one of the best organizations in the USL. I couldn’t have received this honor without the support of my wife, parents, brother, sister, and the rest of my family. I want to thank my father who has been one of my biggest supporters during my soccer career for pushing me to be the best player that I could be. Also my wife, who supported me by coming to all my games and being so understanding when I was away for periods of time during the summer”, he ended with saying, "I am grateful to the Ocean City Nor’Easters who allowed me to continue my dream of playing professional soccer and want to thank Mr. Granese and Neil Holloway for giving me a place to continue my soccer career”.