Nor'easters in the pros report: How Ocean City alums are performing at next level
Plenty of good performances including Tyler Miller carrying Seattle Sounders into US Open Cup Quarterfinals
There are dozens of former Ocean City Nor'easters who are playing professionally and as many leagues are in the dog days of summer, we thought now would be a good time to check in. Earlier this year, the number of players drafted into Major League Soccer reached 20, while several players have also signed with teams from the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL).
How are our alums doing at the pro level? Let's take a brief look at each player:
John McCarthy (LaSalle / Cinnaminson, NJ)
McCarthy currently plays for the Bethlehem Steel of the USL, a Philadelphia Union affiliate team where he played in 2015. McCarthy was named the USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year and USL PRO Rookie of the Year in 2014. He made his MLS debut in April 2015 versus New York City FC. Last year, he made a name for himself in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, as he played a big role in the Union reaching the Final for the second straight year. In 2016, with the Bethlehem Steel, McCarthy has appeared in eight games, making 33 saves, and has a 1.50 goals against average.
Tyler Miller (Northwestern / Woodbury, NJ)
Miller currently plays for Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC, while also spending time with the team's USL team, Sounders 2. Miller has made just one league appearance for the team and he made two saves in his debut, which coincidentially fell on his 23rd birthday. He made his second appearance for the club in the US Open Cup on June 28, 2016 in the US Open Cup as he led the four-time champions into the Quarterfinals. They finished tied 1-1 at Real Salt Lake but it was Miller's heroics in the shootout that was the difference as Seattle won 4-1 after Miller saved attempts by Joao Plata and Kyle Beckerman. His performance earned him a nomination for TheCup.us Player of the Round. The winner has yet to be determined.
Ken Tribbett (Drexel / Centennial, CO)
Tribbett is currently playing for the Philadelphia Union (MLS) having appeared in 9 of his first 15 games in his first year at the MLS level. He has scored a goal and dished out one assist. Tribbett was originally signed by the Bethlehem Steel, but with injuries with the senior team, an opportunity presented itself and Tribbett took full advantage and became the first player in Union history to be signed directly from their USL affiliate.
Mitchell Taintor (Rutgers / Storrs, CT)
Taintor was drafted by Toronto FC in the Third Round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. He currently plays for Toronto FC II of the USL, appearing in 12 games. The Rutgers alum is hoping his performance at the USL level will lead to playing time with the senior team.
John Manga (Cincinnati / Lexington, KY)
Manga was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the Fourth Round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. He was released due to injury, but is expected to sign with another pro team once he's back to full health.
Ryan Richter (La Salle / Southampton, PA)
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 has been the captain of the team. In 14 games he’s secured two goals for the team and currently plays with Nor’easters alum Nick Bibs. Richter was drafted in 2011 by the Philadelphia Union, debuting in July of 2011 and scoring his first MLS goal in August of the same year.
Nick Bibbs (Syracuse / Philadelphia, PA)
Bibbs currently plays of the Bethlehem Steel, the USL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union. Bibbs has played two games for the club in the 2016 season and plays alongside captain and Nor’easters alum Ryan Richter.
Shawn McLaws (Coastal Carolina / Edmond, OK)
Drafted in 2015 by the New York Red Bulls (MLS), McLaws played two games for the team and scored his first laying in two games and scoring a goal. After the season, McLaws signed with the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL. McLaws has played 16 games for the Islanders and has dished out two assists, alongside teammate and fellow Nor’easters alum Keasel Broome.
Keasel Broome (Providence / Claymont, DE)
Broome currently plays in net for the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL, making four appearances for the club in 2016. Broome also plays with former Nor’easter Shawn McLaws in Harrisburg City. Broome's biggest highlight last year was representing Barbados at the international level.
Dominic Samuel (Southern New Hampshire / Toronto, Ontario)
Samuel plays for the defending USL champion Rochester Rhinos. This year, in his first season with the club, he has made 12 appearances for the Rhinos so far in the 2016 season averaging 79 minutes a game on the Rochester backline
Tim Dobrowolski (Loyola - Chicago / Rockford, IL)
After a stellar career at Loyola-Chicago, Dobrowolski signed his first professional contract with the USL's Louisville City FC. However, having just signed, he has yet to make his pro debut.
Derek Luke (Monmouth / Bridgewater Township, NJ)
Luke has been busy since his tenure at Monmouth University ended in 2014. Prior to this season, he signed with the USL expansion side FC Cincinnati. In his rookie campaign he has started nine games for the club coached by Hall of Famer John Harkes. His defensive prowess is sure to impress as he continues with the club in the USL.
Victor Araujo (San Antonio FC / Salvador, Brazil)
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 has laid a solid foundation for his second pro season after he recovers from his injury.
Mitchell Lurie (Rutgers / Atlanta, GA)
Lurie was drafted in 2016 with the 44th overall draft pick by the Philadelphia Union, but ended up signing with Saint Louis FC of the USL. He has had limited playing time in his rookie season with just two games played.
Brendan Hines-Ike (South Florida / Denver, CO)
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 in Sweden and has been a regular in the team's starting lineup.
Aaron Dennis (Villanova / Elmont, NY)
After signing with Arizona United of the USL last year, Dennis found a new home with Miami FC of the NASL this season. Dennis has started four games for Miami this year and has assisted on one goal.
Jason Plumhoff (La Salle / Ellicott City, MD)
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.
Ryan Finley (Notre Dame / Lumberton, NJ)
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 wtih Angelholms FF in the second division of Sweden. He is already scoring goals with his new club in hopes of earning promotion into the first division.
Steven Miller (Colgate / Ivyland, PA)
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.