McCann led Reading United to back-to-back championship game appearances in 2018, 2019
The Ocean City Nor’easters are excited to get back on the field for the 2021 USL League Two season, and when they do they will do it under new management.
For the Nor’easters’ 24th season, they will be led by a new head coach who brings a strong resume to Ocean City’s Beach House: Alan McCann.
McCann comes to Ocean City after four years coaching the Nor’easters’ oldest rival, Reading United AC. After two years as an assistant, McCann took over as Reading’s head coach in 2018 and led the club to a 28-3-5 overall record and back-to-back division and conference titles, while also reaching the USL League Two championship game in both seasons. Earning that level of success as a team playing in the Mid-Atlantic Division, arguably the toughest in the league, he was named the 2018 and 2019 USL League Two Coach of the Year.
“I’m really excited to get started with the club and the staff behind the scenes,” said McCann, who had 46 former Reading United players move on to play professionally during his four years with the club, including more than a dozen MLS draft picks. “Our goal is to bring a team to the Ocean City that can excite the fans and showcase future professionals while adding to the club’s already successful history.”
|Alan McCann (right) speaks with Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin|
While the Nor'easters are one of the most successful clubs in league history with the seventh-most all-time wins, and the third-most U.S. Open Cup wins (with six upsets of professional teams), ownership hopes bringing McCann on board can help the club capture that elusive USL League Two championship.
"It will be an exciting season in Ocean City in 2021," said Nor'easters president Giancarlo Granese Sr. "The Nor'easters have secured one of the top coaches in the league and we're looking forward to providing Alan with all the resources he needs to bring a championship to our great city."
McCann’s success at Reading United has earned him a reputation as one of the best up-and-coming young coaches in American soccer, but he brings a strong resume at the college level.
In his three years as an assistant coach at Keiser University (Fla.), he helped the Seahawks make a pair of NAIA tournament appearances and their first Sun Conference final in a decade. Among the talent that he recruited and coached a conference Freshman of the Year, two Defensive Players of the Year, seven All-Sun Conference award winners and four NAIA All-Americans.
McCann was recently hired as an assistant coach at NCAA Division 2 powerhouse Palm Beach Atlantic University. The Sailfish have qualified for the NCAA tournament five years in a row, and, with his help, will be aiming to make it six next season as they challenge for a national championship.
McCann will now be the first head coach in Nor’easters history to experience both sides of the Ocean City-Reading rivalry, which is one of the oldest matchups in United Soccer League history dating back to 1997.
“I have become very familiar with the rivalry over the past number of years so it will definitely be different to now be a part of it from the Ocean City side but there's always been a huge respect in our time being part of the rivalry,” said McCann, who was 4-1-0 against the Nor’easters as a head coach. “One thing that is always guaranteed in those games is that it will be entertaining so this next year will just add a bit of spice to this historic rivalry."
McCann, who is on the verge of earning his A license (the second-highest coaching license offered by the US Soccer Federation), has already hit the ground running with the recruiting process as he works to put together a roster that expects to challenge for a USL-2 championship in 2021. His coaching staff is currently being finalized and will be announced in the coming days.