Barons hit the road one last time

Squad travel to Vermont, Cape Cod this weekend before returning home for last five games

OCEAN CITY, NJ (June 27, 2006) -  The Ocean City Barons (3-1-5, 14 points) will travel to Vermont and Cape Cod this Saturday and Sunday in search of their offensive form. Despite struggling to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, they begin the road trip riding a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3) and relying on a strong defense that has only allowed seven goals in their first nine matches.

The Men In Red are coming off a frustrating scoreless draw last Friday that saw them earn the majority of the chances, but were unable to finish. Issey Mahalo earned his second shutout of the season without being tested in the contest.

Both games on this road trip are against former division rivals. Prior to the 2006 season, the league restructured the tables, moving Vermont and Cape Cod to the New England Division.

The journey begins at the Collins-Perley Sports Complex in Vermont where the Barons will square off against the winless Vermont Voltage (0-5-4, 4 points). The Voltage won both meetings in the 2003 season, but since then, the Barons have claimed the last four matches, outscoring Vermont 15-3. Ocean City will hope to get their offense back on track against a club that has a -14 goal difference, having only scored six goals of their own.

Vermont are led by Bo Vuckovic, a truly a one-of-a-kind man within the USL. Vuckovic bought the club in 1999 and has since acted as the general manager, coach and one of the top players on the roster. He spent the majority of his career playing professional indoor soccer, where he was a two-time All-Star in the MISL. While age has started to catch up with Vermont's one-man show, he is still a force to be reckoned with on the field.

The next day, the Barons will travel south to take on the Cape Cod Crusaders. The first-place Crusaders (6-0-2, 20 points) have had a strong first half of the 2006 campaign. They enter the weekend as one of only two clubs (Carolina Dynamo is the other) who are unbeaten in the 59-team PDL. They began the season by earning a place in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup where they won their first game on the road over Allied SC, only to fall to the Carolina Dynamo in the next round.

The Barons lead the all-time PDL series with Cape Cod 4-1-1, with the only loss coming on July 15 of last year. The Crusaders may trail the head-to-head series, but they have the edge in the national championships. Cape Cod won back-to-back PDL titles in 2002 and 2003.

Fans could see a defensive struggle as Cape Cod and Ocean City enter the weekend with two of the best defenses in the league. The Crusaders lead the Eastern Conference with six goals allowed in their first eight matches, while the Barons are right behind them, having only conceded one more goal.

When the Barons complete their two-game road trip this weekend, they will return home to play their last five games of the regular season at Carey Stadium, beginning on July 9 when they take on the Brooklyn Knights at Carey Stadium.

NOTE: There will not be a live audio broadcast of this weekend's games.