Nor'easters in the Pros 2016 report: More champions, goal of the year, breakthrough performances at home and abroad

Tyler Miller, Ryan Richter and Tony Donatelli all win trophies

There are dozens of former Ocean City Nor'easters who are playing professionally both across North America and overseas. With MLS, the USL and the NASL getting ready for the 2017 season, we take a look back at how our Ocean City alums performed at the next level.

Ocean City alum Tyler Miller won a MLS Cup title with the Seattle Sounders.

There are dozens of former Ocean City Nor'easters who are playing professionally both across North America and overseas. With Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL) getting ready for the 2017 season, we take a look back at how our Ocean City alums performed at the next level.

Let's take a brief look at each player (in alphabetical order):

Victor Araujo (Trinity University / Salvador, Brazil)
Ocean City 2015
San Antonio FC (USL)
Araujo signed with San Antonio FC and was having what many would call a successful rookie campaign until he suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Up until that point, he had played in 11 games with one goal scored. The Brazilian’s effort did not go unnoticed as he was re-signed by the club for the 2017 season.

Victor Araujo scores his first professional goal


Nick Bibbs (Syracuse / Philadelphia, PA)
Ocean City 2012
Bethlehem Steel FC (USL)
Bibbs played for the Bethlehem Steel, the USL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union in 2016. Bibbs appeared in 12 games for the expansion club and scored a goal on July 31 against Toronto FC II. After the season was over, Bibbs moved on and will be looking for a new club in 2017.

Keasel Broome (Providence / Claymont, DE)
Ocean City 2013
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) / Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)
Broome split the goalkeeping duties with Nick Noble with the Harrisburg City Islanders, playing in 13 games and finishing with a 1.69 GAA on the season. After the 2016 season was complete, Broome signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the 2017 season and is currently fighting for the starting job. Broome's biggest highlight last year was continuing to represent Barbados at the international level.

Keasel Broome’s 2016 highlights


Keasel Broome signs with Pittsburgh Riverhounds


Tal Bublil (Drexel / Kfar-Mass, Israel)
Ocean City 2013
Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa (Israeli Liga Alef - Third Tier)
Bublil has had a busy couple of years playing professionally in his home country of Israel. In 2014, he signed with Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv FC and he played a major role at center back as he helped the club win the Liga Leumit (2nd tier) and get promoted to the Israeli Premier League. He suffered an injury during the 2015-16 season and ended up signing with a new club midway through the season. He joined Maccabi Sha'arayim FC in the Liga Alef (3rd tier) and helped the club win their division and get promoted to the Liga Leumit (2nd tier). After helping back-to-back teams earn promotion, Bublil was in high demand and ended up returning to the 3rd tier (Liga Alef), signing with Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa who have big plans to get promoted.   

Aaron Dennis (Villanova / Elmont, NY)
Ocean City 2014
Miami FC (NASL)
After signing with Arizona United of the USL last year, Dennis found a new home with Miami FC of the NASL this season. Dennis started four games for Miami in the spring season this year and has assisted on one goal against Rayo OKC. In the fall season, he got more playing time. Dennis got into nine games, and had his first start with the club, scoring a goal and adding an assist for a team that went from last place in the spring season to fifth place in the fall.

Getting to know Aaron Dennis


Tim Dobrowolski (Loyola - Chicago / Rockford, IL)
Ocean City 2015
Louisville City FC (USL)
After a stellar career at Loyola-Chicago, Dobrowolski signed his first professional contract with the USL's Louisville City FC during the season. Starting in late July for the second-year franchise, Dobrowolski was the backup goalkeeper until he made his pro debut on Sept. 3 on the road against FC Montreal. He kept a clean sheet against Montreal and helped City earn a 1-0 road win. He wasn’t called upon again until the postseason when he had to step in to replace the injured starter Gregory Ranjitsingh in the second half of the USL Semifinals against the Red Bulls II. Ranjitsingh had yet to allow a goal in the playoffs and Dobrowolski stepped in and played well by only allowing one goal the rest of the match (the goal was a header at point blank range, not much he could do) as the two teams went to penalty kicks. New York won the shootout 4-3 to advance to the USL Final.

Tim Dobrowolski arrives in Louisville


Tony Donatelli (Temple / Glenside, PA)
Ocean City 2004-05
Baltimore Blast (MASL)
Last season, Tony Donatelli added to his resume with another championship. Out of the more than 55 Ocean City players who have moved on to play professionally, Donatelli is the most successful. He lifted the Major Arena Soccer League championship trophy with the Baltimore Blast, which was his seventh championship in his career (his second with the Blast). Donatelli was a big part of that championship team as he led the team in scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists in 18 games. He is back for the 2016/17 season as the Blast look to defend their MASL title and has already picked up where he left off. As this is being written, the former Temple Owl is not only leading the first-place Blast in scoring, but he's among the league leaders in points and third in the league in assists.



Ryan Finley (Notre Dame / Lumberton, NJ)
Ocean City 2009
IFK Varnamo (Swedish Superettan - Tier 2)
After stints with the Columbus Crew (MLS), Chivas USA (MLS) and last year with the Charlotte Independence (USL), Finley decided to take his game overseas, signing with Angelholms FF in the second division of Sweden. Unfortunately, despite being the leading scorer, Finley was released from his contract midseason due to a financial crisis at the club. (They would finish in last place with a 4-18-8 record and were relegated). He signed with Naestved BK in the Danish First Division, but since the team was in the home stretch of the season, he received limited playing time. The club, who was just promoted from the Second Division (thanks to former Ocean City goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi), managed to stay up in the First Division with a 10-19-4 record. Finley recently signed with a new team as he heads back to Sweden to play for IFK Varnamo of the Swedish Superettan. He signed a two-year contract with the club.

Ryan Finley scores for Angelholms FF


Brendan Hines-Ike (South Florida / Denver, CO)
Ocean City 2014
Orebro SK (Swedish First Division)
Hines-Ike's strong senior season at the University of South Florida got the attention of Major League Soccer teams, but despite being drafted by the Montreal Impact, he chose to take his game overseas. He signed with Orebro SK who play in the top division of Sweden (Allsvenskan). The club finished around the middle of the table in ninth place with a record of 11-11-8. Hines-Ike played in 17 matches this season, making five starts and scoring one goal.

Brendan Hines-Ike’s first professional goal for Orebro SK


Markhus “Duke” LaCroix (Pennsylvania / New Egypt, NJ)
Ocean City 2012-13
Indy Eleven (NASL)
After the first two seasons of never finishing higher than 5th in the NASL standings, the third season was the charm for Indy Eleven. This year, they were the Spring Season champions, and finished in second place in the Fall Season, earning them a spot in the league championship game. Unfortunately, they fell short of a Soccer Bowl championship, losing in penalty kicks to the New York Cosmos. Duke LaCroix contributed with just two goals, but one of them was exceptional. So exceptional that it was voted the 2016 NASL Goal of the Year (WATCH BELOW).  

2016 NASL GOAL OF THE YEAR


Derek Luke (Monmouth / Bridgewater Township, NJ)
Ocean City 2015
FC Cincinnati (USL)
Luke was a big part of a successful debut season for FC Cincinnati. Much of the headlines about FC Cincinnati had to do with the amazing attendance numbers, where they led the league in attendance (by far) with more than 17,000 fans per game. However, their on-field performance was impressive as well, finishing third in the Eastern Conference with a 16-6-8 record. While all the headlines were about the attendance signed with the USL expansion side FC Cincinnati led by Hall of Famer John Harkes as manager. Luke’s rookie campaign saw him play in 27 of the team’s 30 games, picking up one assist, as most of his work was done on the defensive end of the field. After a successful regular season, the postseason was short-lived. Despite a record crowd of 30,000-plus, Cincy were defeated in the conference quarterfinals, 2-1 by the Charleston Battery. Luke will be back with the club next year as well.

Derek Luke’s 2016 highlight reel


Mitchell Lurie (Rutgers / Atlanta, GA)
Ocean City 2014-15
Saint Louis FC (USL)
Lurie was drafted in 2016 with the 44th overall draft pick in the MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union, but ended up signing with Saint Louis FC of the USL. The Rutgers alum played in 15 games for Saint Louis in his rookie season as the club finished with an 8-12-10 record.

Issey Maholo (Boston College / Tokyo, Japan)
Ocean City 2006
Hong Kong FC (Hong Kong Premier League)
Maholo moved to Hong Kong for work in June of 2011, and while he was working his day job, a friend introduced him to Hong Kong FC. It is known as one of the oldest sporting clubs in Hong Kong. He took part in a month-long trial and eventually made the team. He's been playing with the first team ever since and helped the team earn promotion to the Hong Kong Premier League. He is currently playing in his sixth season with the club . 

John Manga (Cincinnati / Lexington, KY)
Ocean City 2015
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)
Manga was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the Fourth Round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. He was released due to injury, but after making a full recovery, he eventually signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the upcoming 2017 USL season, joining three other Ocean City alums on the roster.

John Manga signs with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds


John McCarthy (LaSalle / Cinnaminson, NJ)
Ocean City 2011-12
Philadelphia Union (MLS) / Bethlehem Steel (USL)
McCarthy made one appearance for the Philadelphia Union (MLS) this season in a friendly against the English Premier League's Crystal Palace. He spent most of the season loaned to the Bethlehem Steel of the USL where he played in 11 games and finished with a 1.27 GAA with 48 saves and a .774 save percentage. The Union finished with an 11-14-9 record and finished sixth in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Union's season would end in the opening round of the playoffs, falling to Toronto FC, 3-1. Bethlehem finished with a 6-14-10 record and missed the USL playoffs.

John McCarthy's 2015-16 highlight reel


Shawn McLaws (Coastal Carolina / Edmond, OK)
Ocean City 2013-14
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
McLaws was the only player on the City Islanders roster to play in all 30 games during the 2016 season. His 2,699 minutes played left him one minute short of joining two other players as the only ones in the league to play every minute of every game. He dished out two assists on the season while playing alongside another Ocean City alum, Keasel Broome.

Steven Miller (Colgate / Ivyland, PA)
Ocean City 2008-09, 2011
Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
Miller spent last year with the Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) and was loaned to the Carolina RailHawks (NASL) toward the end of the season. This year, he signed with the RailHawks full-time. Miller can play all over the field -- he scored eight goals for Ocean City as mostly an attacking player -- and he is playing as a wing back for Carolina. He started 14 of the 15 games he played in, scoring one goal and adding two assists as the RailHawks finished around the middle of the table in seventh place (7-10-5).

2016 in review from Steven Miller


Tyler Miller (Northwestern / Woodbury, NJ)
Ocean City 2012
Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) / Seattle Sounders FC 2 (USL)

Ocean City alum Tyler Miller won a MLS Cup title with the Seattle Sounders.

Miller made his MLS debut (on his 23rd birthday, no less) for the Seattle Sounders on March 12. He received positive reviews for his performance, but ultimately Seattle lost 2-1 at Real Salt Lake that day. Miller got most of his playing time with the Sounders' USL affiliate (Sounders 2 or S2) where he played in 12 games and finished with a team-best 1.25 GAA. The Sounders 2 finished with a 9-13-8 record and missed the USL postseason, but the Sounders MLS team used a strong second half of the season to make the MLS playoffs. Seattle finished with a 14-14-6 record and got hot at just the right time and reached the MLS Cup Final against Toronto FC where they won a dramatic penalty kick shootout to lift the cup for the first time.

Seattle Sounders win the 2016 MLS Cup


Jordan Murrell (Syracuse / Markham, Ontario)
Ocean City 2013
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) / Reno 1868 FC (USL)
In his first season with the Riverhounds, Murrell played in 12 games. The Riverhounds finished with a 6-17-7 record. After the season, Murrell became a free agent and signed with USL expansion side Reno 1868 FC.

Jason Plumhoff (La Salle / Ellicott City, MD)
Ocean City 2012, 2014
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) / Saint Louis FC (USL)
It’s been a busy 12 months for Jason Plumhoff. After a breakout rookie season with the Harrisburg City Islanders last year, Plumhoff signed with FC Edmonton of the NASL. After one goal in six matches, Plumhoff was traded to the Jacksonville Armada, a team coached by New Jersey native and Hall of Famer Tony Meola. He played in five games (two starts) for the Armada before he was sent to Saint Louis FC (USL) on loan. He was very productive during his short-term loan, as he played in five games and contributed three assists.

Jason Plumhoff’s 2016 highlight reel


Ryan Richter (La Salle / Southampton, PA)
Ocean City 2008-10
Bethlehem Steel (USL) / New York Cosmos (NASL)
After a breakthrough season with the Ottawa Fury (NASL) in 2015, Richter returned to his home state to sign with the expansion Bethlehem Steel (USL) where he was the captain of the team in the club’s inaugural season. He was leading the team with 29 starts, five goals and four assists and that got the attention of the New York Cosmos of the NASL. The Steel sold Richter to the Cosmos for the stretch run of the season. And it paid off. Richter helped the Ottawa Fury reach the NASL final the year before, but they fell short. Now, as a member of the Cosmos, he scored the championship-winning penalty kick to give New York the title over the Indy Eleven. After the season, the Cosmos appeared to be folding, but new ownership came through to buy the club. Richter was one of the the first players the Cosmos announced was returning for 2017.

Richter talks about scoring the winning PK


NASL Final highlights


Dominic Samuel (Southern New Hampshire / Toronto, Ontario)
Ocean City 2014
Rochester Rhinos (USL)
Samuel recently completed his first pro season with the Rochester Rhinos. He finished the campaign with 26 games played for the defending USL champion Rhinos. Samuel helped Rochester to a 13-5-12 record which earned a spot in the postseason where they advanced to the USL Semifinals before falling to the New York Red Bulls II.

Eric Schoendorf (Loyola Chicago / Delafield, WI)
Ocean City 2015
FC Linkoping City (Swedish Second Division)
Schoendorf helped FC Linkoping City earn promotion to the First Division after a 18-6-2 record. Schoendorf played in eight games for the club.

Stefanos Stamoulacatos (Syracuse / Syracuse, NY)
Ocean City 2013
Syracuse Silver Knights (MASL)
The last we heard from Stefanos Stamoulacatos, he left Syracuse University early to turn pro. He signed with Iraklis 1908 Thessaloniki FC in Greece but recently returned stateside to take his game indoors. Stamoulacatos signed with the Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL), the same team that fellow Ocean City alum Nate Bourdeau plays for.

Mitchell Taintor (Rutgers / Storrs, CT)
Ocean City 2013
Toronto FC II (USL)
Taintor was drafted by Toronto FC in the Third Round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft but eventually signed with Toronto FC II of the USL. Taintor played in 22 games this year and finished second on the team in minutes played with 1,917. The Rutgers alum scored his first professional goal on Aug. 6 on the road against Orlando City B. Toronto finished 7-18-5 and finished third from the bottom in the USL Eastern Conference. Following the 2016 season, the club announced that Taintor has signed on for next season.

Ken Tribbett (Drexel / Centennial, CO)
Ocean City 2013
Philadelphia Union (MLS) / Bethlehem Steel (USL)
Tribbett was one of the biggest surprises in Major League Soccer in 2016. In 2015, Tribbett had a breakout first professional season with the Harrisburg City Islanders and signed with the USL expansion side Bethlehem Steel. In the preseason, the Philadelphia Union were dealing with a number of injuries with the senior team and Tribbett was called up to help. He took full advantage of the opportunity. Not only did he become the first player in team history to be signed directly from a USL affiliate, but he found his way into the starting lineup. He started 19 of the 22 games he played in this season and scored a pair of goals and added one assist. With the preseason fully underway, Tribbett is working hard to earn a starting job with the club in 2017.

Ken Tribbett's best goal of the season


Chevaughn Walsh (Jefferson College / Spanish Town, Jamaica)
Ocean City 2016
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)
Chevy Walsh’s breakout PDL MVP season did not go unnoticed. After becoming the first Ocean City player to lead the league in scoring, Walsh passed up an opportunity to return to college and signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL. He made his first pro start on Sept. 3 on the road against Orlando City B, and in that game, he scored his first career goal (WATCH BELOW). Walsh ended up playing in six games during the home stretch of the 2016 season, and is signed through the 2017 campaign. He will begin his first full professional season next spring in the Steel City.

Chevy Walsh scores his first professional goal

 

 

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