Barons open 13th season on Saturday, May 9 at Carey Stadium
OCEAN CITY, NJ (May 6, 2009) - The Ocean City Barons open their 13th season with a familiar face returning to the sidelines and a new crop of young talent. Ten players will return from last year’s team include the club’s all-time leading scorer, Byron Carmichael. The rest of the roster features South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania players, including the club’s first Division I All-American in Temple’s J.T. Noone.
OCEAN CITY, NJ (May 6, 2009) - The Ocean City Barons open their 13th season in 2009 with a familiar face returning to the sidelines and a new crop of young talent aiming to return the club to the ranks of the Premier Development League’s elite. Ten players returning from last year’s team include the club’s all-time leading scorer, Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ). The rest of the roster features South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania players, including the club’s first NSCAA Division I All-American in Temple University’s J.T. Noone (Temple / Harrisburg, PA).
Barons general manager Neil Holloway (Wheeling Jesuit / Ocean City, NJ) returns to the sidelines as the head coach of the club with the departure of Mike Pellegrino. Pellegrino was in charge of the club for the last two years, leading them to a 15-8-9 record and a win over professional side Crystal Palace Baltimore in the first round of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The former Ocean City High School head coach has taken a new position within the school district.
|Ocean City Barons 2009 Opening Day roster|
|* returning from last year|
|Jordan Bar||Fairfield||Centerville, MA|
|John Fogarty*||Villanova||Marmora, NJ|
|Tunde Ogunbiyi*||Boston College||Gwynedd, PA|
|Joe Banks*||Drexel (’07)||Sicklerville, NJ|
|Tyler Bellamy*||St. Bonaventure||Hammonton, NJ|
|Kevin Curran||Loyola College||Upper Twp, NJ|
|Dan Korenyi||LaSalle||Cinneminson, NJ|
|Neal Melchionni||Lehigh||Marmora, NJ|
|Jamal Neptune||Hofstra||East Windsor, NJ|
|Sal Pistone||Stockton College||Blackwood, NJ|
|Leon Brown*||Wheeling Jesuit (’04)||Sicklerville, NJ|
|Junior Chapman||LaSalle||Winslow, NJ|
|Jimmy Davis*||LaSalle (’09)||Pittsgrove, NJ|
|Giancarlo Granese||Hofstra||Ocean City, NJ|
|Rory McCrea||Hofstra||Leeds, England|
|J.T. Noone||Temple||Harrisburg, PA|
|Karl Reddick||Boston College||Pottstown, PA|
|Billy Pinto*||Hofstra||Audubon, NJ|
|Ryan Richter*||LaSalle||Southampton, PA|
|William Swetra||James Madison||Egg Harbor, NJ|
|Byron Carmichael*||Marshall (’03)||Lumberton, NJ|
|Austin Johnson||LaSalle||Middle Twp, NJ|
|Kyle Miller||Holy Cross||Woodbury, NJ|
|Steve Miller*||Colgate||Ivyland, PA|
|Neil Holloway||Wheeling Jesuit (’02)||Ocean City, NJ|
|John Thompson||Lewis University (’02)||Sicklerville, NJ|
|Dan Ortiz||Galloway, NJ|
Holloway played six years with the Barons (2002-07), and managed the club as a player/coach in 2005 and 2006. His record during that time was 18-7-7 and led Ocean City to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup in 2005. He stepped away from the field in 2007 to focus on building the franchise off the field in his role as general manager and few would call that task anything short of a success. For his efforts, he was rewarded with the PDL Executive of the Year award in 2007 and the team was named Organization of the Year in 2008.
Joining him on the sidelines as an assistant will be Holloway’s former teammate and PDL Defender of the Year John Thompson (Lewis Univ. / Sicklerville, NJ). Thompson is the club’s all-time leader in minutes played (5,650) and, like Holloway, serves as a coach in the Barons youth academy.
"We are very excited about the Holloway-Thompson coaching partnership returning to the helm," said Holloway, who coached with Thompson in 2005 and 2006. "I am personally excited about leading the team on the field again. ’Tomo’ has always been my right hand man, both on and off the field and he will once again bring his wealth of knowledge, especially on the defensive side of the ball, to the team."
Last year was a disappointing season for the club, finishing with a 6-5-5 record, good enough for a tie for fourth place in the Northeast Division, and missing the playoffs. The Barons started the year with an 8-game unbeaten streak (4-0-4), but struggled down the stretch, finishing the second half with a 2-5-1 record.
"Not making the playoffs is always disappointing," said Holloway. "We tied a lot of games last year, so if we can turn those ties into victories and score some more goals, that will make a big difference."
This year, Ocean City opens the season at Carey Stadium against the Westchester Flames on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. The first four games of the season double as U.S. Open Cup qualifiers.
"As always with the Barons, we will be looking to clinch a playoff spot at a minimum," added Holloway. " We would love an Open Cup run and this might be our year. We qualified in 2005 and 2007, so maybe 2009 will be our year to get an MLS team."
Single-game tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for kids and season tickets are $40 and $20. For more information, visit here.
The first place the team will look to improve will be goalscoring. Last year’s 29 goals was the lowest in franchise history. The lone bright spot in 2008 was the play of veteran Byron Carmichael who led the team in scoring with 16 points (six goals, four assists) and eclipsed the 100-point mark for his career on an assist in the final game of the season. The Lumberton, NJ native enters his sixth year with the club and is the club’s leader in goals (41) and points (100) and is two assists shy of the top mark in helpers. He needs only 406 minutes of game time to surpass assistant coach John Thompson for the all-time mark in minutes played.
He will be partnered with one of last year’s surprise players, Steve Miller (Colgate / Ivyland, PA). In a game against the New Jersey Rangers last year, Miller made headlines by scoring only the third hat trick in club history in his first start of the season. He was one of only three players to play in every game last year, and he tied Carmichael for the team lead in goals with six, along with three assists.
The two new faces at the forward position will be a pair of young players from New Jersey. Austin Johnson (LaSalle / Middle Twp, NJ) was a member of the Super Y-League Under-17 All-League Team last year and led Middle Township High School with 29 goals. Johnson will begin his freshman year at LaSalle this Fall.
Kyle Miller (Holy Cross / Woodbury, NJ) comes to the Barons from Holy Cross University where he led the team in scoring as a sophomore with nine goals. The year before, he topped the team scoring chart with seven goals and two assists, while being named the Patriot League Freshman of the Year. In high school at Bishop Eustace Prep, he scored 45 goals and was a three-time All-State and All-South Jersey selection. Miller was also a member of the Barons Super-20 team last year.
Among the newcomers for this season, Temple University’s 2008 Second Team All-American J.T. Noone (Temple / Harrisburg, PA) is the headliner. The Harrisburg native finished his junior year on with seven goals and a school-record 12 assists. The previous record was held by former Baron Tony Donatelli. Noone became the first NSCAA All-American from Temple in 22 years, and is the first to play for the Barons PDL franchise.
|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.|
at Rhode Island Stingrays (OCQ)
|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
Other notable newcomers include William Swetra (James Madison / Egg Harbor, NJ), Karl Reddick (Boston College / Pottstown, PA), Rory McCrea (Hofstra / Leeds, England), Junior Chapman (LaSalle / Winslow, NJ) and Giancarlo Granese (Hofstra / Ocean City, NJ). Swetra, a high school All-American, is entering his senior year at James Madison and spent five years in the Barons youth academy. He also spent time with the United States Under-18 National Team. Reddick was among the top freshmen in the nation at Boston College in 2007.
Going against a trend of foreign players taking up roster spots, McCrea is the lone rookie who was born outside the U.S. The Leeds, England native represented Great Britain in the 2007 World University Games in 2007 and will be entering his senior year where he will play with Baron teammates Jamal Neptune, Billy Pinto, former Baron Rob Youhill and Giancarlo Granese.
Granese is among the Barons youth academy players taking up roster spots in 2009. He was the top scorer at Ocean City High School the last two years, and helped his Super Y-League team reach the national finals twice. If the name is familiar, that’s because his father is Barons President Giancarlo (John) Granese. Chapman was a Press of Atlantic City all-star at St. Augustine Prep and will begin his college career at LaSalle this Fall. He was a member of the Barons U-18 Super Y-League team that made the national finals, along with teammates Kevin Curran, Giancarlo Granese and Austin Johnson.
"We have gone back to basics and back to what the PDL stands for ... development," said Holloway. "We want to give our young kids a chance and push as many Barons youth players through into the PDL team. We have a young but talented roster this year."
Some versatile veterans will anchor the midfield this year with Leon Brown (Wheeling Jesuit / Sicklerville, NJ), Jimmy Davis (LaSalle / Pittsgrove, NJ), Billy Pinto (Hofstra / Audubon, NJ) and Ryan Richter (LaSalle / Southampton, PA). Brown, Davis and Pinto can all play both defense and midfield, giving the coaching staff plenty of options. Brown, a former college teammate with Coach Holloway originally from Trinidad and Tobago, will play his 4th season with Ocean City. Davis is graduating from LaSalle this month, after a solid career with the Explorers. Davis has been a key player for the last two seasons on the boardwalk, playing outside back and being named a finalist for team MVP in both years. Pinto will be playing in his fifth year, with 31 games under his belt in a variety of roles for the men in red.
The defense will have a familiar face in the middle of it this year with Joe Banks (Drexel / Sicklerville, NJ) returning for his sixth season with the Barons. He played nearly every minute last year and scored a pair of goals, and finished the year third all-time in minutes played in club history. The only other returning player on the backline is Tyler Bellamy (St. Bonaventure / Hammonton, NJ) who played six games for the club last season.
A pair of young defenders with impressive high school resumes will try to make a name for themselves at the next level in 2009. Dan Korenyi (LaSalle / Cinneminson, NJ) and Neal Melchionni (Lehigh / Marmora, NJ) both got their respective college careers off to a nice start, playing big roles for the teams in their freshman campaigns. Korenyi was a high school All-American at Cinneminson and a former New Jersey Player of the Year, while Melchionni was named the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Press of Atlantic City Player of the Year in 2007 after he scored 20 goals and dished out 38 assists at Ocean City High School.
Jamal Neptune (Hofstra / East Windsor, NJ) and Sal Pistone (Stockton College / Blackwood, NJ) round out the backline for Ocean City. Neptune enters his senior year at Hofstra this Fall while Pistone contributed to a great year for Stockton as they finished the year ranked #20 nationally in Division III. Pistone is a product of the Barons youth academy, of which he has been involved in since he was 12 years old.
Last year, the Barons finally found a solid number one goalkeeper in Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA), and just when he was starting to get comfortable, he was called up to the Nigerian Olympic team ahead of the Beijing Games. In his absence, Ocean City used three different goalkeepers and failed to find their winning ways in the second half of the season. Ogunbiyi, who recently transferred from the University of New Hampshire to Boston College, led the team with a 1.40 GAA and 32 saves in five matches. One of the goalkeepers used while Ogunbiyi was gone was John Fogarty (Villanova / Marmora, NJ), who will return for 2009. The Ocean City High School graduate made his PDL debut in the last game of 2008, and earned a clean sheet against the New Jersey Rangers. The third goalkeeper on the roster is Jordan Bar (Fairfield / Centerville, MA) who expects to compete with Fogarty for the number two job.