The Ocean City Nor’easters and the Philadelphia Union might seem world’s apart when you briefly look at our two clubs but when you scratch the surface you see similarities between our clubs philosophy and personnel amongst others.
Our job as part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) is to develop players and ready them for the professional leagues. The Nor’easters have produced 24 professional soccer players during their 17 year history, of those 24 players 10 are currently plying their trade at the professional level. Ocean City have seen two of their most promising recent graduates head to the Philadelphia Union, Ryan Richter and JT Noone.
Ryan Richter played 3 years for the Nor’easters from 2008-10 racking up 45 games, 11 goals and 5 assists. Richter was part of the squad that last got to the 3rd round of the US Open Cup in 2009. He played for the Philadelphia Union in their summer international friendlies against Everton and Real Madrid. He showed his talents off against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Richter stayed for 2 years before moving to USL Pro side Charleston Battery where he teamed up with another former Ocean City player Tony Donatelli. Together they helped the Battery win the USL Pro National Championship. Richter then moved to the Toronto FC, he got back to the MLS and is now the starting right back for the team.
JT Noone graduated from Temple in 2010 after playing 16 games for Ocean City in 2009 which included a 3rd round US Open Cup game against DC United. The central midfielder was training with the Union in their expansion year of 2010, Noone finally went on to sign for their USL Pro affiliate Harrisburg Islanders. During his 2 years with the Islanders Noone suited up for the Union on occassions. In 2012 Noone played for Baltimore Blast in the Major Indoor Soccer League and helped them to a National Championship. After that season finished he was quickly signed up by USL Pro’s VSI Tampa Bay where he joins former Nor’easter and Charleston Battery star Tony Donatelli.
The Philadelphia Union are also in the business of developing their own players. It is well known that it is more cost-efficient to develop your own players rather than pay large transfer fees or get involved in complicated trades. The Union use many venues to develop their own stars. The Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC sports look to develop the younger age groups into the next generation of pros, much like the Nor’easters look to Jersey Premier Soccer to develop players for their future rosters. The Union affiliated with Reading United to be their PDL partners as they look to give college kids a chance. Philadelphia Union also affiliated with USL Pro side Harrisburg City Islanders to allow players that have turned professional time to grow and develop in the less pressurized environment.
It has been know to even see the Philadelphia Union front office staff vacation in the ’Greatest Family Resort In America’, to relax and get away from the City life for a while. Ocean City, NJ is the perfect spot for the Philadelphia natives to come and soak up the sun on the beautiful beach and play on the 2.5 mile Boardwalk... And if your lucky there might be a Nor’easters game going on.
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