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.
Since joining the PDL in 2003, the Nor’easters have the sixth-best regular season record and the sixth-best home record.
2016 marks the club’s 20th 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.