Archive for the ‘USL’ Category

OC's Ogunbiyi, now training with England side Reading

Ocean City’s PDL club will host an open tryout this Saturday in Camden.

The tryout is open to all players and begins at 7 p.m. at Rutgers Camden Community Field. There’s a $20 tryout fee and players are advised to arrive for registration and email head coach Neil Holloway at nholloway@ocbarons.com.

Ocean City FC, formerly known as the Ocean City Barons, plays in the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League. If you’re not familiar with the PDL, it’s the same league that also hosts Philadelphia Union‘s affiliate, Reading United AC. Many players from this mostly amateur league go on to play professionally. (more…)


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For those Union fans now more attentive and those Isles fans eager to get a look at the squad in preseason training, they have announced a schedule of friendlies across the mid-state:

Date – Opponent – Time – Location
Wed, March 17 – Saint Francis University – 8:00 – Millersville University
Tues, March 23 – Bucknell University – 7:00 – Millersville University
Thurs, March 25 – Crystal Palace Baltimore – 7:00 – Millersville University
Sun, March 28 – Towson University – 2:00 – Richard Montgomery HS
Tues, March 30 – Penn State University – 7:00 – Jeffrey Field, PSU
Thurs, April 1 – UMBC – 7:00 – Millersville University
Thurs, April 8 – Temple University – 4:00 – Temple Ambler Soccer Field

While the roster of the Islanders is still being sorted out, the Isles have signed Nate Jafta, a college and PDL teammate of much-loved Islander Tiyi Shipalane, now of D.C. United. Nate, a 26-year-old South African, is a creative, attacking midfielder with flair with 15 goals and 35 assists to his credit in his PDL career. He was selected 3 times to the all-league team in the PDL as a four-year player for the Michigan Bucks.

Interested in more? Try the team website here: www.cityislanders.com

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With today’s announcement of an exclusive partnership with USL-2 side Harrisburg City Islanders, the Philadelphia Union has laid the ground work for a highly developed farm system. Already with a working partnership with PDL side Reading United AC, the Union have now established links to the college game (PDL) and to lower division professional soccer (USL-2). What does this mean to Union and Isles fans? What does this mean to the Philadelphia Union as a developing franchise? In short, it’s huge.

With the death of the MLS Reserve League and the chopping of rosters from 28 down to 24 before the beginning of the 2009 season, MLS teams were left with few options to get their young, developing players field time. And no matter how much you practice and train, there is a certain amount of confidence and calm that only comes with minutes on the pitch.

The Union will likely utilize the City Islanders franchise as a place to get their young talent game time, without having to sacrifce quality in their MLS starting XI. The City Islanders have done loan deals with both the Red Bulls (Danny Cepero, GK [Penn]) and D.C. United (Tiyi Shipalane, F) in the past, but have now signed to exclusively deal with the Union. This is big in terms of player movement back and forth, as well as the consistency of the system and proximity to Philadelphia.


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Get used to it. You'll be seeing more of this.

Philadelphia Union will partner with the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-2 in a development contract could see Union players loaned to Harrisburg to get more playing time, the clubs announced today.

Under the partnership, the two clubs will work to identify Harrisburg players with the chops for MLS. The clubs will partner on promotional activities, clinics, and Union player appearances in Harrisburg, and they’ll play an annual exhibition match.

“We’ve worked with MLS clubs frequently over the years, but to formalize a relationship like this is ideal,” City Islanders Head Coach Bill Becher said. “I think players and staff from both clubs will see real benefits as a result.”

This kind of partnership could be hugely important for both sides. With MLS doing away with its reserve competitions, non-regulars don’t get much opportunity for playing time outside of practice. This would give them that time, in a way similar to that which is happening in England, where top Premier League sides have been increasingly loaning out players to Championship and League 1 clubs.

Philadelphia already has a partnership with Reading United AC of the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League, but this deal allows them to partner with a club at a higher level of competition.

More on this later, when time allows. We’ll tell you a bit more about the City Islanders and just how unique this partnership may be.

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While waiting for good news about signings from the City Islanders, I get this: Our cross-state rivals have signed our all-time leading goal scorer, and one of our best defenders has left to join AC St. Louis. Oh boy.

Penn St. alumni and Harrisburg great Chad Severs has been signed by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this offseason. Chad made 51 appearances for the Isles and holds the all-time scoring mark with 31. In addition to the depature of Tiyi Shipalane to D.C. United and the retirement of Steve Fisher, the departure of Severs raises questions about the Islanders firepower this coming season. That is something Isles fans will be wondering about for the next weeks as the season approaches; hopefully the FO has identifed some young offensive talent at the various combines and camps held throughout the off-season.

Also making news this week is the departure of defensive stalwart Tim Velten. Tim has been signed by NASL expansion side AC St. Louis, his hometown team, and he joins the list of Islanders who will not feature at Skyline this season. Though all of these departures mean there will be some unfamiliar faces on the island this season, the news makes me anxious for the signings to come. Regardless, Skyline will still be a fun place to take in a game and Socceritaville will still be calling my name.

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A little over a month before the Harrisburg City Islanders open camp on March 15th, the team is beginning to take shape. We already know that standout attacker Tiyi Shipalane will not be returning to the Isles as his contract was purchased by D.C. United.

Now add to that news that City Islanders original Steve Fisher is hanging up the boots after 6 seasons with the club. Fisher has been a stalwart at the front for the Islanders since 2004, and leaves the team ranked second all-time in both goals (16) and assists (17). The veteran presence and hard work of Steve Fisher will be hard to replace as he and Tiyi provided two strong offensive influences last season.

Where the Isles will not be looking to rebuild is up the middle and the back. Captain Dustin Bixler has re-signed  on the defensive line as has Anthony Calvano. The middle and wing will be held down by returning Islanders Jason Pelletier and David Schofield, the team’s all-time assist leader (22). Geoff Bloes, who brings both midfield and defensive skills has signed on for another campaign as well. (more…)

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In addition to their closed winter tryout in December, the Hounds are holding an open Pro-Combine from February 23rd-25th. The tryout does require fees and pre-registration but it is open to professionals, college players, and amatuers alike. You can find more information here on the team website.

Have you ever attended a pro-tryout? Philly Soccer Page wants to know. Drop us a line in the comments portion and we would love to feature local players trying to make it professionally.

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