USL Premier Development League
The Ocean City Nor'easters currently compete in the Premier Development League (PDL), which runs from May through August. The PDL is a development league operated by United Soccer Leagues (USL). It is currently considered the top-level men's amateur soccer competition in the United States, although it has no official designation as such from US Soccer. The league has 65+ clubs from the United States and Canada competing in four conferences, split into ten regional divisions. The Premier Development League is considered to be the fourth tier of competition in the United States, behind Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League.
After being founded in 1996, the club debuted in the 1997 season under the name the South Jersey Barons as a professional team in the D-3 Pro League. In 2003, the Barons moved to the PDL and in 2004 they became only the fifth team ever to go through the regular season with an unbeaten record (14-0-4). In 2005, the South Jersey Barons were taken over by local businessmen Russ McPaul and Giancarlo Granese. Their first act as new owners was to move the Barons to Ocean City, New Jersey and rename the team the Ocean City Barons. The club moved into its new home at Carey Stadium on the Boardwalk between 5th and 6th streets.
After the 2009 season, the club rebranded its self, becoming the Ocean City Nor'easters and taking a blue and orange color scheme.
The 2012 season began with a change of head coach, welcoming Rutgers University - Camden head coach Tim Oswald to the club. The Nor’easters put together a 13-3-0 regular season record, which was the best record in the Eastern Conference. The following year, they won the Eastern Conference championship and reached the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup where they narrowly lost to the Philadelphia Union when the MLS side scored the game-winning goal in second half stoppage time. In 2016, the club added to its trophy case by winning another Eastern Conference title as Chevaughn Walsh became the first player in club history to win the PDL scoring title and the second to be named the league's most valuable player, Ruben Mingo being the first in 2004.
Since joining the PDL in 2003, the Nor’easters have the sixth-best regular season record and the sixth-best home record.
2018 marks the club’s 22nd season and during this time, more than 50 Ocean City alums have moved on to play professional soccer, including Jeremiah White who became the first alum to earn a cap with the senior U.S. National Team. Click here for a list of all of the Ocean City alums that have played or are currently playing professionally.
Ocean City Nor'Easters Goal Compilation - 2017 Season
OCN Nor'Easters in the Community 2017
About the Ocean City Nor'easters
The Ocean City Nor’easters is a soccer franchise based in Ocean City, New Jersey that competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) -- the top men’s amateur league in North America. The PDL is considered the fourth level of soccer in the United States below Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League and the United Soccer League. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professional setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment to the Ocean City community.
In addition to their achievements on the field, individually, more than 50 Ocean City alums have moved on to play professional soccer. From Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League to more than a dozen countries from around the world, Ocean City alums have earned a living playing the game they love. You can find a full list of all the Nor'easters in the pros (both past and present) HERE.
Supporters can "Follow the Storm" on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.
|TOP PERFORMING PDL CLUBS SINCE 2003|
|2.||Chicago FC United||144||55||36||465|
|3.||Des Moines Menace||144||58||32||463|
|4.||Thunder Bay Chill||150||63||31||451|
|6.||OCEAN CITY NOR'EASTERS||130||60||44||434|
|7.||Reading United AC||121||49||36||429|
Ocean City Nor'easters in the US Open Cup
Adding to their success in the league, the Barons have also qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Eight occasions. They made their first appearance in 2002, their final year as a professional franchise. That year, they defeated Vereinigung Erzgebirge of the USASA 4–0 in the first round, but were eliminated in the next round 1–0 by the Hampton Roads Mariners, who played in the level above the Barons, in the A-League (now called the USL First Division).
In 2004, the year of their undefeated league season in the PDL, they began the tournament with a 5–0 thrashing of the USASA’s Allied SC, and once again met an A-League team in the second round. The Syracuse Salty Dogs were the club, which featured Anthony Maher, the older brother of the Barons’ Matthew Maher. It was only the second time in the Professional Era (1995–present) of the Open Cup that two brothers played against each other in a Cup game. The original match seemed to be heading in the Barons’ direction in the 75th minute with the score tied at 1–1, and the Salty Dogs playing with nine men. Unfortunately for the underdogs, the referee abandoned the match at that point due to lightning and darkness. Six days later, the match was replayed, and despite Neil Holloway giving the Barons a 1–0 lead in the 22nd minute, Syracuse was too strong, knocking the Barons out of the tournament by the score of 4–2.
The following year, the Barons made a return to the Cup and made their biggest impression in club history. They began as they had the previous two tournament appearances with a 3–0 shutout win over historic USASA club, New York Greek-American Atlas. The Barons would host their second round match against the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL Second Division, and they used their home field advantage at Carey Stadium to thrash the Rough Riders 4–0. Ruben Mingo, Tony Donatelli, Chris Williams and Steven Wacker all scored in one of the second round’s biggest upsets.
In the third round, the Barons were on the short end of a historical Open Cup match in Richmond, Virginia. Again, weather played a role, postponing the original game date, and a week later, the match was delayed by two hours. When the match was finally completed, the Barons had lost to the Richmond Kickers of the USL First Division, 8–4. The Kickers answered Byron Carmichael’s opening goal, with four straight tallies in the first half. Just before halftime, Carmichael cut the lead to two, and just after the break Tony Donatelli’s goal made it 4–3 in the 54th minute. However, the home side was too strong, and with the Barons pushing for an equalizer, the Kickers opened the floodgates. 12 goals was the most total goals scored in an Open Cup match since professional teams began entering the tournament in 1995. The four goals conceded by the Richmond Kickers was the most they had allowed in their Open Cup history.
After missing out on the tournament in 2006, the Barons returned to the Cup in 2007 and began at home with a 1–0 upset over Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division. They hosted the second round as well and lost 2–1 to the Harrisburg City Islanders in one of the more exciting matches of the 2007 Open Cup. The Barons had three balls cleared off the line in the second half, but they weren’t able to equalize.
2009 was a landmark season for the Barons in the Open Cup as they qualified for the Open Cup for the fourth time in the last six years. But the biggest highlight was the fact that Ocean City faced off with a club from Major League Soccer for the first time in franchise history. The Barons’ run in the tournament began with a shocking 3–0 home upset of Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division. Byron Carmichael was named TheCup.us Player of the Round after scoring a pair of first half goals and J. T. Noone would put the nail in the coffin with a second half goal. The upsets at The Beach House continued in Round 2 when the Barons’ Tunde Ogunbiyi shutout the Real Maryland Monarchs of the Second Division and Noone converted a penalty kick in the second period of overtime to put the Barons into the third round by a score of 1–0. With the win, Ocean City became only the sixth amateur team in Open Cup history to register back-to-back wins over professional teams. In Round 3, the Barons would put a scare into D.C. United but would fall 2–0 to the defending Open Cup champs on a wet night at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Maryland.
As a PDL team in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Ocean City have six wins with five of them being upsets of professional clubs. Only one other PDL team has more wins and upsets in the tournament (Michigan Bucks with 9.) After not qualifying for the US Open Cup tournament from 2010–2012, the Ocean City returned to Cup action in 2013 defeating the New York Red Bull U-23's in the First Round at Carey Stadium 2–0. In the 2013 2nd Round they defeated USL Pro side the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1–0 at Carey Stadium marking the team's fifth win over a professional team. However, they were beaten by the Philadelphia Union of MLS in the next round by the score of 2–1, after the Union scored a goal in second half stoppage time.
Ocean City goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi remains the only PDL goalkeeper as well just the third amateur GK to earn a clean sheet against consecutive professional teams in the US Open Cup during the Modern Era. (1995–present)
In 2017, the Nor'easters hosted Junior Lone Star FC of the Philadelphia Premier Soccer League in the opening round. After a 3-1 win, they advance to Round 2 where they hosted the Harrisburg City Islanders in a rematch of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. After 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, Harrisburg won the penalty kick shootout 6-5. For Ocean City, it was the sixth shutout of a professional team, more than any amateur team in the Modern Era.
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Results
|2002||D3 Pro||1st||@ Vereinigung Erzgebirge||USASA||W, 4–0|
|2nd||vs. Hampton Roads Mariners||A-League||L, 1–0|
|2004||PDL||1st||vs. Allied S.C.||USASA||W, 5–0|
|2nd||vs. Syracuse Salty Dogs||A-League||L, 4–2|
|2005||PDL||1st||@ Greek American AA||USASA||W, 4–0|
|2nd||vs. Long Island Rough Riders||USL-2||W, 4–0|
|3rd||@ Richmond Kickers||A-League||L, 8–4|
|2007||PDL||1st||@ Crystal Palace Baltimore||USL-2||W, 1–0|
|2nd||vs. Harrisburg City Islanders||USL-2||L, 2–1|
|2009||PDL||1st||vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore||USL-2||W, 3–0|
|2nd||vs. Real Maryland Monarchs||USL-2||W, 1–0 (AET)|
|3rd||@ D.C. United||MLS||L, 2–0|
|2013||PDL||1st||vs. New York Red Bull U-23's||NPSL||W, 2–0|
|2nd||vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds||USL Pro||W, 1–0|
|3rd||@ Philadelphia Union||MLS||L, 2–1|
|2014||PDL||2nd||vs. NY Greek Americans||Cosmopolitan League||L, 0–2|
|2017||PDL||1st||vs. Junior Lone Star||USASA||W, 3-1|
|2nd||vs. Harrisburg City Islanders||USL||L, 0-0 (5-6 pk)|
2018 Season Information
Ocean City Nor'Easters 2017 Squad
The Ocean City Nor’easters will provide food for players accomodated in club housing through the "Frieds of Nor'Easters" foundation who will provide a weekly food shop throughout the season, and through club sponsors, access to discounted meals at various restaurants around the city of Ocean City, NJ.
The Ocean City Nor’easters, in coordination with the city of Ocean City, NJ, provide seasonal employment to any interested players, through the completion of employment application. In previous years, the club has helped in coordinating the following employment…
Ocean City Nor’easters Youth Academy
ACMEGillian’s Wonderland Pier
And numerous local businesses around the city & on the OCNJ Boardwalk
The Ocean City Nor’easters will be competing in the Premier Development League, as well as friendlies. Going off the 2017 US Open Cup format Ocean City will be playing in the first round of the 2018 edition having finished with the 15th best record in PDL in the 2017 season amongst US teams.
The PDL League schedule is due to be released in February 2017 and the US Open Cup draw in April 2018.
Owner/President, Giancarlo "El Presidente" Granese, with his wife, Nancy
After officially agreeing to become the seventh head coach in Ocean City Nor'easters club history, John Thompson poses for a photo at the club headquarters in Ocean City, N.J.
The goal of the Ocean City Nor’easters is to provide training to keep players sharp, fit and fresh while preparing them for their upcoming collegiate season. The Nor’easters staff works diligently to monitor every player's health and fitness, through workload.
The Ocean City Nor’easters will begin training as soon as they arrive from college.
The Ocean City Nor’easters technical staff conducts 3-4 team training sessions a week throughout the season. Of the weekly training sessions, one session is entirely focused on the preparation of the week’s match.
The Ocean City Nor’easters, led by team Sports Therapist, conduct recovery sessions after every match.
The Ocean City, NJ beach hosts over 150,000 visitors each summer
The Ocean City Nor’easters provide all players and staff with professionally driven transportation from Ocean City, NJ to all matches and club functions.
The Ocean City Nor'easters do not cover any costs associated with travel to or from Ocean City, NJ, for any player.
The Ocean City Nor'easters can arrange for pick up from and/or drop off to the following airports.
Philadelphia International Airport (Philadelphia, PA) - $60.00 per roundtrip
There is a train service from Philadelphia Airport to Atlantic City Train terminal that costs around $15.
The Ocean City Nor’easters play all home matches at Carey Stadium (6th Street & Boardwalk), right off the Ocean City Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. Players will have access to Carey Stadium’s training facilities and locker rooms, two hours prior to every home match. The City have installed a new turf field with new cork infill that keeps the survace cool. The playing surface is 120 yards x 72 yards.
The Ocean City Nor’easters conduct all team-training sessions at Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex, right off the Bay & 6th Street Field, steps from the Nor'easters clubhouse.
Club sponsor, Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness Club provides full fitness facilities for all players & staff for the entirety of the season.
Team Doctor, Sports Therapist & Athletic Trainer(s)
The Ocean City Nor’easters provide a team doctor available to all players and staff; available upon appointment.
Gear & Equipment
Players are provided with all official Ocean City Nor’easters gear, such as training & match day apparel.
The Ocean City Nor’easters DO NOT provide any personal player gear, such as boots, shin guards, goalkeeper gloves.
All Ocean City Nor'Easters games are recoreded by the media department at Stockton University and games posted onto our Youtube Channel the day after so that players can expose themselves to potential scouts and clubs. Our games are broadcast live on the radio and internet.
Global Premier Management
Ocean City Nor'easters have a working relationship with Global Premier Management who are recognized as one of the top agencies for professional soccer players in the USA. Any Ocean City Nor'easters player who Global Premier Managment feel are professional will be watched by GPM and or recommended to them by the Ocean City Nor'easters staff.
The firm is led by President and Owner Patrick McCabe, who has more than 18 years of experience in the business of player management. We have a worldwide network of contacts and relationships that allows us to place clients in several key market and an extensive track record of success both in the US and abroad. Most importantly, we have continued to operate in a way that gives our clients the feel of a small business: individual attention and constant availability. Unlike other big agencies the company is privately owned, which is crucial in allowing us to meet our clients’ needs and make decisions in their long-term interest without having to a seek a quick return to cover corporate overhead and appease shareholders. We provide personal service that is based on honesty and respect.
All Ocean City Nor’easters players are responsible for their own behavior and for conducting themselves as professionals during their time in affiliation with the club. Due to storied success and popularity of the Nor’easters within Ocean City, NJ and the local southern New Jersey shore area, all Ocean City Nor’easters players and staff are viewed as public figures.
The Ocean City Nor’easters do numerous community-driven events and players are expected to participate (when available) as the club’s involvement in the community is important to our success, on and off the field.
All Ocean City Nor’easters players are responsible for managing and maintaining all club-issued team and personal gear and equipment.
All Ocean City Nor’easters players are responsible for cleaning, managing and maintaining the club provided housing, as well as all fixtures, furniture, appliances and anything within the property limits of the provided housing, in which belongs to the club or any player housed by the club.
All Ocean City Nor’easters players are responsible for communicating all injuries & illnesses to the club technical and medical staff. The Ocean City Nor’easters cannot be held responsible for any injury or illness, which was not communicated properly.
All Ocean City Nor’easters players are expected to communicate their availability at the earliest convenience, throughout the entirety of the season.
PITTSBURGH (June 14, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have agreed to a developmental partnership with the Ocean City Nor’easters of the USL Premier Developmental League (PDL) through the 2018 season.
Originally founded as a Division 3 pro club in 1996, the Nor'easters joined the PDL in 2003 and since then have the sixth-best record among the 72 teams in the league. Ocean City has qualified for the playoffs seven times and has made two PDL final four appearances since 2013, and has won multiple honors, including Organization of the Year in 2008. The amateur club’s success has translated against professional opponents as well, notching five upsets in U.S. Open Cup play since 2003 and recording four wins against MLS Under-23 squads this past summer – D.C. United, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Reading United.
"I am personally really excited to do this partnership deal with Ocean City,” Riverhounds head coach Dave Brandt said. “It's a club I've been aware of and familiar with for quite awhile, and they have a fantastic record and reputation both as a winning organization, and an organization who are serious about developing and working with top players and advancing their careers. Clearly one of the top PDL organizations in the country, and we are delighted to align with them."
As part of the developmental side of the USL, the Nor’easters have paved the way for several players to professional soccer, seeing 22 members drafted into MLS, including 10 in the last three years, and more than 60 players have moved on to sign pro contracts since 2003. Six of them have played with the Hounds, including three current players: Keasel Broome, John Manga and Chevaughn "Chevy" Walsh – the latter most notably signed last year after notching PDL MVP and Golden Boot honors.
Both clubs expect the affiliation to provide key improvements in player identification, establishing an expanded player-scouting network between the clubs, in addition to staff development initiatives within the USL-PDL framework. Initiatives are expected to include collaboration between the staffs of both clubs in training, film work, as well as the potential for Ocean City prospects to trial with the Hounds throughout the summer.
"We are thrilled and equally excited to have the opportunity to work closely with the Hounds. We felt this partnership was the right time, the right place and most importantly, the right organization,” said Tim Oswald, Ocean City's Sporting Director. “We have been very impressed with Coach Brandt's philosophies and vision for the club and his aspirations to push the envelope in his short time with Pittsburgh. I have no doubt that he will grow the club and its brand to new heights.
“This partnership exemplifies the Path-to-Pro model of the PDL and we are proud to provide our players and staff with an expanded umbrella for development.”
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds compete in the United Soccer League, the second division of professional soccer in United States directly below Major League Soccer (MLS). The 'Hounds have been playing pro soccer in the Steel City for nearly two decades. In 2013, the club solidified its place in the city's major league sports landscape by opening Highmark Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium that overlooks downtown Pittsburgh.
"Partnerships like this one are important to the landscape of soccer," PDL Director Todd Eason said. "We are seeing more professional clubs finding the desire and recognizing the need to partner with PDL clubs, and having a strong program like the Nor’easters partner with a resourceful Pittsburgh Riverhounds will only help each club gain a stronger presence in their respective market. We look forward to seeing this partnership grow and assisting with business and player development."
With this partnership, there are now 19 PDL franchises affiliated with or owned and operated by a North American professional club.
With the addition of Ocean City, the Hounds have further strengthened their developmental network, now running affiliations from the PDL through MLS (Columbus Crew SC).