Philadelphia Union's John McCarthy, Bethlehem Steel's Brendan Burke on hand at Rutgers-Camden University
|A scene from the sidelines at the Ocean City Nor'easters first tryout session at Rutgers-Camden University on Dec. 19. Photo: Twitter @DjFlowe|
The first of two tryout sessions for the Ocean City Nor'easters 2016 Premier Development League season took place at Rutgers-Camden University on Saturday afternoon with a number of promising players making a strong case to be a part of next year's team.
"We had some great talent attend our first tryout," said Ocean City general manager Kevin Nuss. "We are very pleased. There are six or seven players we are extremely interested in and will look to sign for next season."
Players who were unable to attend the first tryout will still have a chance to be seen by the Ocean City staff, led by head coach Tim Oswald. Registration for the second session on Saturday, Jan. 2 at Rutgers-Camden University is now open.
The Nor'easters are looking to fill roster spots for the 2016 PDL team, as well as the Under-23 and Under-20 teams. Players who are interested in trying out or have any questions, please contact the Ocean City Nor'easters team office at (609) 432-8371, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.oceancityfc.com/tryout.
The first session on Saturday featured a couple of special guests as the head coach of the new USL expansion team Bethlehem Steel, Brendan Burke was in attendance, along with former Ocean City and current Philadelphia Union goalkeeper John McCarthy. Also, former Ocean City player Jason Plumhoff, fresh off a tremendous rookie season with the Harrisburg City Islanders where he led the team in scoring with 26 points (10 goals, 6 assists) was on hand.
"Ocean City, under Tim (Oswald) and Kevin's (Nuss) guidance have established themselves as a great PDL destination over the last few years," said Burke, who was the head coach of the PDL's Reading United AC before taking his current position in Bethlehem. "It is important three hours for us to be aware of and present at events like today's open tryout and hopefully a few that we saw today will be in an Ocean City uniform in the coming months."
Head coach Tim Oswald was back on familiar ground at Rutgers-Camden where he is the head coach of the Scarlet Raptors' men's program. Oswald was very pleased with some of the talent that showed their skills on Saturday.
"I think in any tryout, your goal is always to find someone that you haven't yet ID'd or didn't know coming into the day," said Oswald, who enters the 2016 season as the club's all-time leader in PDL coaching wins (38-14-6). "When you walk out of the event afterwards and you have found a few hidden gems like we did today for the U-20, U-23 and PDL roster, it's always exciting."
Every year, the Nor'easters roster is filled with top-level college talent from across the country and from around the world. However, every year there have been players who have emerged from open tryouts in recent years to make the team's final roster.
Players who feel they have what it takes to play for one of the best PDL teams in the country should register today as there are limited tryout spots available for the second session on Jan. 2.
Interested players can apply and register online HERE. The tryout is limited to 80 participants. There is a registration fee of $45 for the Jan. 2 session. The late registration fee will be $65. In-person registration WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Participates must be atleast 18 years of age, due to Rutgers University policy.
All student-athletes must confirm eligibility to participate with their respective college, university or the NCAA.
Since 2013, the Nor'easters have sent 22 players to the professional ranks, including Philadelpia Union goalkeeper, John McCarthy and New York Red Bulls defender, Shawn McLaws. You can see a comprehensive list of #OCN alums currently playing professionally here.