New era begins with revamped structure, Super Y-League teams
After 13 years, the Ocean City Barons Premier Development League (PDL) team will be changing their name and club structure after splitting with the South Jersey Barons youth academy.
For over a decade, the Barons have been one of the most successful minor league soccer franchises in North America and this organizational change is aimed at uniting the soccer community in South Jersey.
The Ocean City PDL organization, including its coaching company, South Jersey Pro Soccer, will no longer be affiliated or associated with the South Jersey Barons Youth Academy and its teams. Having successfully coached Barons youth teams and professionally run the daily soccer operations since the club’s inception, a change in the Barons’ parent-run board and a difference in philosophies lead to the split.
The Barons organization has had tremendous success in player development and the notoriety that comes with having one of the country’s leading PDL teams so they are confident that the Ocean City-based soccer organization is perfectly placed to implement its new structure.
“Through our professional coaching services we will continue to offer training, clinics and camps services to all clubs, organizations and townships throughout the southern New Jersey area,” said Neil Holloway, the general manager and coach of the PDL team. “We want to help develop players of all ages and ability, and share our knowledge with all players and coaches no matter what team or club they play for.”
“Youth soccer in South Jersey is very competitive and there are a number of very well-run clubs,” said Holloway. “Our goal is to assist these clubs on soccer-specific issues and unite the soccer community in support of our PDL team which showcases the best collegiate and minor league talent during the summer months.”
As well as providing soccer services throughout southern New Jersey, the Ocean City franchise will field elite youth teams in the Super Y-League (SYL). Ocean City will have boys and girls teams at the Under-13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 levels in addition to boys and girls teams in the United Soccer Leagues’ Super-20 League.
Having been a model franchise at the PDL level with multiple USL awards to show for it, including being named 2008 Organization of the Year, it was a natural progression to field its own youth teams in the Super Y-League.
“The Super Y-League is only for elite players and will help them take their game to the next level, whether that be earning a college scholarship or playing professionally,” said Technical Director Leon Brown.
The Super Y-League teams will be very selective in its membership, and will provide an opportunity for all high-level players throughout South Jersey to tryout and participate regardless of their current team status.
“We don’t want to compete with existing club teams, but rather be a complement to them,” said Holloway. “As with our professional coaching services, we want to work with all clubs, organizations and townships to identify the elite players and provide them with an opportunity that has not been afforded to them until now.”
“The Super Y-League has it own carding system and games are scheduled mostly during the summer months, so players can play on their local team in the South Jersey soccer leagues like MAPS or JAGS without conflict”.
The re-branding of the PDL team will be announced in the months to come.
Tryout Information for these new Super Y-League teams and the PDL team will be posted at www.ocbarons.com. For questions and enquires please contact the Ocean City soccer office 609-525-9999, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Ocean City PDL team
The Ocean City PDL team is a soccer franchise based in Ocean City, New Jersey that competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) -- the top men’s amateur league in North America. The PDL is considered the fourth level of soccer in the United States below Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues’ First and Second Divisions. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professionalized setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment to the Ocean City community.
Founded in 1997 as a professional franchise in the United Soccer Leagues, the club moved to the PDL in 2003. Since then, they have the second best home record (39-9-11), the fourth best overall record (67-25-24) and own the record for the longest home unbeaten streak (28 games). As a PDL team in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Ocean City have six wins with four of them being upsets of professional clubs. Only one other PDL team has more wins and upsets in the tournament.
2010 marks the club’s 14th season and during that time, 16 former Barons have moved on to play professional soccer, including Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus in Denmark) who became the first Baron to earn a cap with the senior US National Team. Fans can follow the Barons on the club’s website at www.ocbarons.com, on Twitter (www.twitter.com/oceancitybarons) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/oceancitybarons).
About USL Super Y-League
The future of soccer lives in the USL Super Y-League, a professionalized youth academy system that is the first step for developing elite youth soccer players in North America. Affiliated with US Soccer, the league is designed for talented youth players destined for professional or international careers. The league contains the youth academies of USL First Division, USL Second Division, Premier Development League, W-League, and Major League Soccer clubs, as well as many of the established premier youth clubs in North America. Through Olympic Development Program (ODP) status events such as the North American Finals and National ODP camps, the nation’s top players are identified for selection to US National Team Programs. The 2009 campaign features over 550 teams within the U13-U17 boys and girls age groups competing within 10 geographic divisions of North America.
About USL Super-20 League
As the only Under-20 men’s and women’s North American amateur league, the USL Super-20 League provides the platform for top 17-20 year olds in the United States and Canada to compete at the elite level. While serving as a reserve team system for many W-League and Premier Development League teams, the USL Super-20 League features teams competing in four regional conferences, consisting of 8-10 regular season matches throughout the summer months.