Related Links

Ocean City has Depth in the Back Four: Defenders Preview

Noreasters Look to Build from the Last Line

Lurie, Myers & Israel return to Carey Stadium to lead decorated defensive recruiting class into 2015 season.

May 22nd, 2015
By: Eric Klenofsky
Shawn McLaws with New York Red Bulls

Ocean City Nor’easters alum and current New York Red Bulls defender, Shawn McLaws once said, “Ocean City had a huge impact on me, it gave me a great place to train over the summer and be able to grow as person and player.”

After two successful seasons with the Nor’easters, the former Ocean City captain made the jump to the professional ranks signing a contract with New York Red Bulls of the MLS.

Just two summers ago, McLaws was in the same shoes as most of this seasons defenders and with the PDL opener just days away, the Nor’easters are welcoming in the newest class to hold down the back line at Carey Stadium.

“The incoming group of defenders we have brought in will offer size, great athletic attributes and a true tactical soccer sense,” said Ocean City Head Coach Tim Oswald. “They share the collective ability as a unit to make us an indirect elaborate possession oriented squad or a more direct squad that can put teams under a lot of pressure on any given night. That versatility should prove beneficial to us as we map out the way we choose to play each match this year.”

Mitch Lurie, Ryan Myers & Richardo Israel (Left to Right)

This season, there is no question of depth. Ocean City alumni, Mitch Lurie of Rutgers University, Ryan Myers of the University of Pittsburgh and Richardo Israel from the Univeristy of Cincinnati will return to the Nor’easters to lead a decorated class of 13 defenders.

Lurie comes to Ocean City after a successful season in 2014. After playing in 13 games for the Nor’easters and logging over a thousand minutes, Lurie sat the season out in the fall at Rutgers due to transfer regulations.

“I feel like everybody just comes to work, I think the mentality of this team is that a lot of the guys have something to prove including myself, and that’s good,” said Lurie, a former U.S. Under-18 Men’s National teamer. “It’s going to take guys being invested one hundred percent of the time; I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Following an impressive 2013 campaign with the Nor’easters which saw Myers contribute to both a Mid-Atlantic Championship and an Eastern Conference Championship, the Pittsburgh number ten went on to tally two goals and two assists in 12 starts for the Panthers.

Now entering his second stint in Ocean City, Myers serves as one of the veterans on the Nor’easters back line.

“Similar to two years ago, it’s a really tight nit group of guys with a lot of talent,” said Meyers, a 22 year-old native of Wallingford, P.A. “To repeat the success we had two years ago would be great but it’s going to take a strong team effort and everyone just buying in to what the coaching staff is offering, playing together, keeping the ball and just grinding out results and showing the will to win.”

Joining Lurie, Myers and Israel will be Tom Carwile of Trinity University, Ackim Mpofu of Northeastern University, Eric Schoendorf of Loyola University of Chicago, Derek Luke and Spencer Moeller of Monmouth University, Andre Morrison of Hartford University, Angelo Dambalas of Philadelphia University, Brandon Kolczynski from the University of Pittsburgh, Ben Keane and Richardo Israel from the University of Cincinnati, and Sonimi Halliday of Rider University.

Tom Carwile, Ackim Mpofu & Eric Schoendorf (Left to Right)

Carwile, a Tulsa, Oklahoma native, comes to the Nor’easters after a fall season with Trinity University which saw the junior take home 2nd Team All-American honors by the NSCAA. The central defender also contributed on offense as well, gathering six goals and two assists in 24 games.

Zimbabwe citizen and freshman outside back Mpofu will add depth for Ocean City on the right side. Mpofu made 12 starts and 17 appearances for Northeastern in his first season at school. Before moving to Boston, Mpofu represented Zimbabwe at both the Under-15 and Under-17 National Team levels and was the captain during his time with the 17s.

As a senior for Loyola Chicago, Schoendorf earned First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference and was also named 2nd Team NSCAA/Continental Tire All-West Region.

Derek Luke, Spencer Moeller & Andre Morrison (Left to Right)

Next up is Derek Luke and Spencer Moeller of Monmouth University. Moeller transferred into Monmouth after starting 16 games as a freshman for the Memphis Tigers and has three years of eligibility left. Luke is the current captain at Monmouth and was named a 2nd Team All-MAAC selection and also earned a spot on the All-MAAC Tournament team.

“The level of play here is great, there are kids from all over the country playing at the highest level,” said Luke, a Bridgewater, N.J. native. “It’s always tough bringing new faces together, but everyone is at a high level so I think we’ll have a very good season.”

 

Andre Morrison, a central defender out of Hartford is up next for the Nor’easters. Morrison was named to the American East All-Rookie team and was recently called into to camp with the Jamaica Under-23 Olympic squad.

Ben Keane & Angelo Dambalas (Left to Right)

Israel and Keane from Cincinnati will also add depth in the center of the defense for Ocean City. Israel has appeared for the Jamaican Under-20 National team and played a part in the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifies for Jamaica. Keane is a native of Mount Laurel, N.J. and played for Match-Fit Academy during his youth. The central defender for Cincinnati played in eleven games this past fall while battling injury.

Dambalas of Philadelphia started 20 matches in his sophomore season and was a First Team All-CACC selection.

 
Brandon Kolczynski & Sonimi Halliday (Left to Right)
 

Former Pittsburgh Panther, Kolczynski of Farmingdale, N.J. started in 17 matches over two seasons for the ACC school before deciding to transfer to the University of South Florida.

Last but not least, Rider University’s Halliday comes to the Nor’easters after a stellar season in the fall. Halliday earned himself a First Team All-MAAC selection as a junior for the first time in his collegiate career.

Depth is the name of the game in this year’s Ocean City backline but only time will tell how these defenders work together.

“I feel they will do quite well with th best attacking players in our division,” said Oswald. “It will be in that environment where their sheer worth will be seen and appreciated.”

2015 Individual Match and Season ticket packages are on sale now. For more information, call (609) 432-8271 to speak with a Nor'easters ticket representative, email us at tickets@oceancityfc.com, or visit www.oceancityfc.com/tickets for ticket package information.

Text "DEFENDERS" to (609) 432-8271 to receive an exclusive promo code, for ticket purchases made online via www.oceancityfc.com/tickets.

For more information on the Ocean City Nor'easters or to "Follow the Storm", check us out at www.oceancityfc.com/followthestorm or text "FOLLOWTHESTORM" to 22828 to join the "Storm Watch" e-newsletter.

Field