John Thompson has done it all during his years with the Ocean City Nor’easters. He’s helped them win games on the field, and he’s been an assistant and a head coach helping the team win games from the sideline. Now he returns to Ocean City as the club’s technical director.
The role of the technical director is to advise, support and oversee all playing and coaching staff within the club as well as implementing the club philosophy and playing style across the entire club, from the reserve teams through the senior USL League Two team. The technical director also manages and oversees the day-to-day activities and act as a liaison between the playing staff, the coaching staff and the ownership.
Thompson has played a number of roles during his more than 20 years with the Ocean City organization. Most recently, he was the head coach for two seasons in 2017 and 2018. He finished with an 18-9-1 record in league play while also leading the team in two runs in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. In US Open Cup play, Thompson led the Nor'easters to three wins, including a road win over the Charlotte Independence, a pro team in the United Soccer League (USL). Only one coach in team history (current Nor'easters Sporting Director Tim Oswald) has more wins in his first two years in club history.
Before joining the club, Thompson, a native of Penrith, England, played his college ball at Lewis University (NCAA Division II) where he became just the 40th player in NCAA history to be named a First-Team All-American three times. After college, he played for the Ocean City Nor’easters from 2002-06 and was a part of the club’s final year as a professional franchise in the D-3 Pro League (2002).
When the club, then known as the South Jersey Barons, transitioned to the Premier Development League (now known as USL League Two) the following year, Thompson stayed and helped lay the defensive foundation that led the club to four successful campaigns, including a rare undefeated regular season in 2004 (14-0-4). He was named to the All-PDL team in 2004 and 2005 and remains the only player in club history to be named the PDL Defender of the Year (2004). In the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, he helped the team shut out the Long Island Rough Riders (then a professional team), 4-0 in 2005.
Thompson finished his playing career with Ocean City ranked third in club history in minutes played (5,650) and fifth in games played (63). After hanging up his boots to focus on coaching after the 2006 season, Thompson was an assistant coach with the PDL team and a youth coach from 2007-09. During that time, the club upset three more professional teams and lost a narrow game to D.C. United (MLS) in 2009. Ocean City also reached the league playoffs twice (2007, 2009) and reached the national quarterfinals in 2009.