4th straight year the club has been honored by the USL
At the United Soccer Leagues’ Annual General Meeting in Tampa, Fla., the Ocean City Barons were named the 2008 Premier Development League Organization of the Year. General Manager Neil Holloway was on hand to accept the award, the fourth year in a row that the club has been honored by the USL.
Tim Holt, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the USL, praised the club’s accomplishments in 2008.
“Under the ownership of John Granese and executive leadership of Neil Holloway, the Ocean City Barons have demonstrated that they are not only one of the nation’s most competitive soccer teams, but they are also as an organization committed to excellence through their unique game day fan experience, attention to operational detail, and commitment to player development at all ages," said Holt. "As the 2008 USL Premier Development League Organization of the Year, the Barons continued success is an inspiration to existing PDL teams and a model to which future teams will aspire.”
Holloway, who was a successful player for the Barons from 2002-07 and the club’s general manager since 2005, was proud to accept another award for the organization.
"It gives me tremendous satisfaction to know that we are leaders in our profession and at the forefront of what is going on in American soccer," said Holloway. "Soccer’s profile in this country is as big as its ever been, so to be honored as the best organization in 2008 out of the 67 PDL franchises across North America is truly an astonishing accomplishment."
The club’s first award came in 2005 when the Barons were recognized with the league’s "Progress Award" for the success made after the team moved to Ocean City, N.J. The Barons were singled out that year among the 114 professional and amateur teams in the entire USL. In 2006, the Barons franchise was inducted into the USL Hall of Fame as a "10+ Club", for being one of only 34 franchises in the history of the USL to have been around for 10 or more years. Last year, the team was given the PDL’s "Communications Award," and Holloway was named the "PDL Executive of the Year."
"The support we have received from the city of Ocean City and our main sponsors; Moen, Certainteed, and Universal have all contributed to the success of our franchise," added Holloway. "We think of ourselves as a major tourist attraction in Ocean City during the summer months, as what can be better than taking in the beautiful game of soccer at Carey Stadium just off the boardwalk in America’s Greatest Family Resort?"