Posts Tagged ‘USL’

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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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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Danny Califf sports a mohawk at Union camp

Philadelphia Union will head to Guadalajara, Mexico, for a one-week training session later this month. Let’s see if the snow follows them there like it has to Greensboro, N.C.

Union manager Peter Nowak tells the Inquirer he plans to tailor his system to the players, not vice versa. Does that mean farewell to the 3-5-2 for a while?

Union defender Shavar Thomas is off to join the Jamaican national team for its friendly Wednesday against Argentina.

The NASL-USL released their 2010 schedule yesterday. Here’s the logo the combined Division 2 league will be using this year, courtesy of Dr. Frankenstein.

Want to buy an English soccer team? There’s an ad in today’s Financial Times for the sale of Crystal Palace, who play in England’s second division.

The EPL’s bottom eight teams have won a combined eight of their last 82 matches, the London Guardian notes. Score one for MLS and league balance. For a European league with more balance, check out The New York Times’ look at the German Bundesliga.

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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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Stealing a page from Twitter’s playbook, today’s piece is dedicated to highlighting some great news outlets for professional soccer in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The Upper 90 – Derek Meluzio

Derek does great work covering soccer in the Harrisburg area and following the Harrisburg City Islanders. I have really enjoyed some of his recent pieces on current Islander goaltender Tomer Chencinski, a Where are They Now? with current Baltimore Blast player Dave Kern, and a feature on former Islander Mike Lookingland getting his own bobblehead night in Baltimore.


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Though many articles will be written about the Philadelphia Union, the 2009 MLS Superdraft, and the players fortunate enough to be selected in one of the draft’s 4 rounds, few people will include this stunning fact:

Of the 64 players selected on Thursday, 48 of them have played in a league run by the USL. What’s more, of the first 16 players chosen in the draft, 12 have played in the USL’s Super Y or Premier Development League. That’s 75 percent of players in both statistics.

The oft-maligned player development system in the United States is unquestionably flawed with its many leagues, designations, and provincialism. However, imagine what the state of the American game would be like, if there weren’t a multitude of leagues and clubs out there developing these players to the point they have. (more…)

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Missed one tidbit in my post the other day. USL-2 side Real Maryland Monarchs who play out of Rockville, MD are holding a professional tryout on Januray 24th. The tryout is limited to 50 players, and professional or collegiate experience is preferred. The deadline to register is Friday, January 22nd, and you must forward a playing history and biography to the team ahead of the tryout to be accepted. For more information on the tryout or to get registered, follow the link to the teams webpage here.

When you think about it, with the Harrisburg City Islanders, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Real Maryland Monarchs, and Philadelphia Union all holding tryouts this winter, lower Pennsylvania and Maryland will have played host to thousands of aspiring professional soccer players in only a few months time. No wonder I didn’t get picked for the team.

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