General Manager Neil Holloway organized a once in a lifetime soccer tour for one boys and one girls team to England. The two teams were made up from the U16 and U17 Ocean City FC Super Y-League teams through our strong relationship with Glassboro Elite.
The trip included playing games against local teams, touring some of the great English soccer stadiums and watching Premier League games and Reading FC.
The girls team tied 2-2 with the Reading FC Academy, 1-1 with the famed Watford Academy and beat local side Caversham 9-0. The boys played all top local sides beating Thatcham Tornadoes 2-1, Thatcham Town 3-0 and tied Barton Rovers 1-1. Both teams finish with a tough game, the girls playing the Berks & Bucks Champions (equivalent to State Cup Champions) Woodley United but prevailed in a 4-0 win with the boys playing well respected Reading Town. The boys went down 1-0 but showed that famous American fight back as Boca dribbled down the left flank and crossed for Isiah to score with 2 minutes left. The game finished 1-1.
Away from playing the game the youngsters have been watching and learning. They saw Spurs loose 2-1 to Norwich. Matt Waldron, a U17 Boys player, told us "The speed at which these professionals play at is insane, it really made us think how hard we have to work and how quick we have to play the game to make it pro. It was really inspiring."
The teams toured the great English soccer stadiums, learning the history of the game and understanding why the country is so passionate about the beautiful game. The toured Stamford Bridge, home to Chelsea FC and visited Wembley stadium, the national stadium of England and the home of soccer.
The relationship between Ocean City FC and Reading FC has continued to blossom through our coaching exchange, Reading FC summer camps and these tours. As part of the tour the players watched Reading FC beat Leeds United 2-0 to go top of the Championship (one level below the Premier League) to increase the belief that they will gain promotion to the Premier League for next season. They were given an exclusive tour of the Madejski Stadium, home of Reading FC and named after their owner Sir John Madejski. As a special treat the players trained at the Reading FC Indoor training center.
For videos from the tour click here
For more pictures from the tour click here