Pellegrino and Holloway lead PDL club into their 12th season on Sunday, May 11 at Carey Stadium
Ocean City High School head coach Mike Pellegrino will return to lead the Ocean City Barons Premier Development League (PDL) team for the second straight year. He will bring back with him 11 players from last year’s team that finished in second place in the Northeast Division with a 9-3-4 record.
Pellegrino, one of the most successful coaches in the state of New Jersey, transitioned his leadership from high school to the PDL last year and helped the team qualify for both the league playoffs and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This marked the third time in the last four years that the Barons had qualified for both competitions in the same season. OCEAN CITY, NJ (May 8, 2008) - Ocean City High School head coach Mike Pellegrino will return to lead the Ocean City Barons Premier Development League (PDL) team for the second straight year. He will bring back 11 players from last year’s team that finished in second place in the Northeast Division with a 9-3-4 record.
|Ocean City Barons 2008 Opening Day roster|
|* returning from last year|
|Tunde Ogunbiyi||New Hampshire||Gwynedd, PA|
|Nick Talarico||Wesley College||Little Egg Harbor, NJ|
|Zach Zamek||Franklin & Marshall||Hillsborough, NJ|
|Mackenson Altidore||Temple||Abaco, Bahamas|
|Joe Banks*||Drexel (’07)||Sicklerville, NJ|
|Jimmy Davis*||LaSalle||Pittsgrove, NJ|
|John Fletcher||Eckerd College (FL)||Uxbridge, ENG|
|Connor Gorman||West Virginia||Philadelphia, PA|
|Dale Parker||Lees-McRae College (NC)||Worksop, ENG|
|Leon Brown*||Wheeling Jesuit (’04)||Siparia, Trinidad|
|Kyle Evans*||Lehigh||Seaville, NJ|
|Ryan Finley||Rancocas Valley HS||Lumberton, NJ|
|Brad Franks*||Elon University (NC)||Medford, NJ|
|Joe Ilett||Eckerd College (FL)||Maldon, ENG|
|Stephen Macurdy*||Lafayette||Rancocas, NJ|
|Michael Mousaw*||Philadelphia Univ.||Marmora, NJ|
|Billy Pinto||Hofstra||Audobon, NJ|
|Ryan Richter||LaSalle||Southampton, PA|
|Nick Sih||Duke||Horsham, PA|
|Drew Von Bargen*||Monmouth||Medford, NJ|
|Adam Williamson||Lehigh (’05)||Ocean City, NJ|
|Byron Carmichael*||Marshall (’03)||Lumberton, NJ|
|BJ Glenn||Lafayette||Philadelphia, PA|
|Steve Miller||Colgate||Ivyland, PA|
|Jeremy Ortiz*||LaSalle (’07)||Mt. Laurel, NJ|
|Lee Squires||Lees-McRae College (NC)||Sheffield, ENG|
Pellegrino, one of the most successful coaches in the state of New Jersey, transitioned his leadership from high school to the PDL last year and helped the team qualify for both the league playoffs and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This marked the third time in the last four years that the Barons had qualified for both competitions in the same season.
The Barons will open the 2008 campaign on Sunday, May 11 at Carey Stadium against the Newark Ironbound Express, an expansion team from North Jersey. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"I think we have put together a nice squad this year," said Coach Pellegrino. "I would like to see us reach the finals and improve upon our overall record [from last year]."
Sharing the coaching duties with Pellegrino is Barons general manager Neil Holloway. Holloway was the club’s player/coach during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. His coaching record during those two seasons was 18-7-7.
Last year’s assistant coach, and former Barons player, John Thompson will be shifting his focus to the club’s youth academy this year.
"The 2008 season promises to be another great summer," said Holloway. "We assembled arguably the most talented group of players in years. We have worked very hard with the city of Ocean City to make sure every game is a unique event and fun, family entertainment for everyone."
This year’s team is one of the youngest in club history with an average age of 20 years old. The roster also includes seven players who have experience playing for the Barons’ youth academy.
Pellegrino and Holloway will have much of their offensive firepower back for next year with the return of Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ), Jeremy Ortiz (LaSalle / Mt. Laurel, NJ) and Kyle Evans (Lehigh / Seaville, NJ). Those three players accounted for 21 of the Barons’ 33 goals last year. Carmichael enters the year with 35 goals in his four seasons with the club, and needs only to find the back of the net twice to become Ocean City’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Ortiz, the team’s 2006 MVP, has contributed eight goals and a pair of assists in each of the last two seasons on the boardwalk. Last year, the LaSalle graduate was drafted #3 overall by the New Jersey Ironmen in the Major Indoor Soccer League’s (MISL) College Draft.
Evans, a graduate of Ocean City High School and a former New Jersey State Player of the Year, is returning for his second full season with the Barons. In his sophomore year at Lehigh University, he led the Patriot League in scoring and was named to the All-Conference and All-Region (Mid-Atlantic) teams. With the large number of forwards on the roster, Evans, like last season, will likely see a lot of time as an attacking midfielder.
The biggest addition to the strike force will be Lee Squires (Lees-McRae / Sheffield, ENG). In his freshman season at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, he was named an NCAA Division II All-American after scoring 24 goals in 24 matches and leading the Bobcats to the most successful season in program history and a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Following in the footsteps of his Lafayette College teammate, and former Baron, Scott Hawkins, BJ Glenn (Lafayette / Phila, PA) will look to contribute to the Ocean City offense in 2008. Prior to last season, Glenn was named one of the "100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On In 2007" by College Soccer News and later finished second on the team in scoring behind Hawkins. Steve Miller (Colgate / Ivyland, PA) also had an impressive freshman year, finishing second on the Colgate team in scoring. Miller also was named the soccer team’s Freshman of the Year, and was also awarded the co-Rookie of the Year award by the Colgate athletic department for all sports.
The midfield will be young this year with midfielders Billy Pinto (Hofstra / Audobon, NJ), Drew Von Bargen (Monmouth / Medford, NJ), Brad Franks (Elon Univ. / Medford, NJ), Mike Mousaw (Philadelphia Univ. / Marmora, NJ) and Stephen Macurdy (Lafayette / Rancocas, NJ) returning to the team. Pinto appeared in 14 of the 16 league games last year, while Von Bargen (seven games played) and Franks (four games played) saw much of their playing time late in the season. Franks made a strong impression, dishing out two assists while playing in four of the last five league games. He also earned a spot in the Barons’ starting 11 for the playoff game against the Cape Cod Crusaders. Mousaw played in three games last year and scored his first PDL goal on July 20 at the Reading Rage. Macurdy made three appearances with the Barons last year, as well as 10 games played in his freshman year at Lafayette College.
Ryan Finley (Rancocas Valley HS / USA U-17 / Lumberton, NJ) joins the Barons after returning from an 18-month stay at the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Finley starred for the Barons’ U-15 Super-Y League team, and then moved on to Bradenton where he played for the United States Under-17 National Team. Having just turned 17, he will be the youngest field player in Barons’ history, while bringing a tremendous amount of experience at a very young age.
Other newcomers to the roster include Joe Ilett (Eckerd College / Maldon, ENG), Ryan Richter (LaSalle / Southampton, PA) and Nick Sih (Duke / Horsham, PA). Ilett heads north to Ocean City from St. Petersburg, Florida’s Eckerd College where he was the Division II school’s co-leading scorer (five goals, eight assists in 20 matches). Richter is the third LaSalle product on the roster and led the Explorers in scoring as a freshman and was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team. Sih was a high school All-American, and was very highly recruited. The FC Delco product eventually signed to play at Southeastern Conference power Duke University. As a freshman, he received minimal playing time, but Coach John Rennie has high hopes for the Horsham native.
Two veteran players will return to the club to help anchor the midfield unit. Adam Williamson (Lehigh / Ocean City, NJ) returns to the Barons after playing two years in the professional ranks for the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer and the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Second Division. Williamson, an Ocean City High School graduate, last played for the Barons in 2005. Leon Brown (Wheeling Jesuit / Siparia, Trinidad), a college teammate of Neil Holloway at Wheeling Jesuit University, was part of the Barons’ historic undefeated season in 2004. He returned last year to play in three regular season games, as well as scoring the lone goal for Ocean City in their U.S. Open Cup match against the USL Second Division’s Harrisburg City Islanders.
The backline, which lacked depth in 2007, will only return two players from last season. One of the returning players will be Joe Banks (Drexel / Sicklerville, NJ) who will play in his fifth season and will look to provide leadership. Banks, who graduated from Drexel University, enters 2008 ranked fifth on the Barons all-time list in minutes played with 3,590.
Jim Davis (LaSalle / Pittsgrove, NJ) was one of Ocean City’s best defenders last year, and a finalist for the club’s MVP award, will come back for his second season. Davis entered last year as a natural attacking player, but transitioned smoothly to a starting role as a defender and was the only player on the roster to play every minute of every game in 2007. With his versatility, it’s largely unknown what role the LaSalle player will play this year for the Men in Red.
The remaining four defenders on the roster are all new to Ocean City, but have strong resumes. Mackenson Altidore (Temple / Abaco, Bahamas) as earned eight caps with the Bahamas National Team, a country that is in the process of trying to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. John Fletcher (Eckerd College / Uxbridge, ENG), and Dale Parker (Lees-McRae College / Worksop, ENG) are college teammates of Joe Ilett and Lee Squires, respectively. Fletcher anchored the backline for Eckerd College, but also contributed to the attack, finishing fourth on the team in scoring with three goals and three assists. Parker was an NCAA Division II All-Region selection, helping the Bobcats defense earn 10 clean sheets, and averaging 0.67 goals allowed per game. Connor Gorman (West Virginia / Phila, PA) will be a freshman at West Virginia University this Fall after earning all-state honors at William Penn Charter High.
Zach Zamek (Franklin & Marshall / Hillsborough, NJ), Tunde Ogunbiyi (New Hampshire / Gwynedd, PA) and Barons youth academy product Nick Talarico (Wesley College / Little Egg Harbor) will battle for the starting goalkeeper job in 2008. Ogunbiyi is a member of the Nigerian Olympic team and will be competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. Zamek made 19 starts for Franklin & Marshall last year as a freshman, and only allowed 13 goals (0.72 goals against average). He led the Diplomats to a 15-4 record in games he started, and the team qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament.
Talarico spent his freshman year at Wesley College where he earned the starting job last Fall. Talarico already has some PDL experience under his belt. In 2005, as a 15-year old, he was thrust into the starting job due to an injury to starting goalkeeper Ryan Carr. Talarico kept a clean sheet in his PDL debut against the Brooklyn Knights in the final regular season game of 2005, and was the starter in Ocean City’s loss in the conference semifinals against the Richmond Kickers Future the following week.