Three recent high school graduates make their PDL debut Wednesday vs. Ironbound Express
With the playoffs out of reach for the 2010 season, the Ocean City Nor’easters have added some young, exciting players to their roster as they look ahead to the future.
|Giovanni Tacconelli (right) battles for the ball against the Ironbound Express on Wednesday. Tacconelli started in his PDL debut and played 72 minutes. Photo: Bill Pellegrino|
Four members of the Nor’easters’ Super-20 team have made the jump to the PDL team including, goalkeeper McKenzey Scott (Cape May, NJ), and a trio of talented midfielders, Giovanni Tacconelli (Mt. Laurel, NJ), MJ Nestor (Avalon, NJ), and Colin McFadden (Ventnor, NJ). All three outfield players made their PDL debuts on Wednesday, July 14 in Ocean City’s 3-0 loss to the Ironbound Express.
This group of youth academy players have come up through the system from the age of 12. PDL head coach / general manager Neil Holloway saw this kids grow up from the Under-12 level all the way to the Under-16s, then Leon Brown, Ocean City FC’s Director of Coaching and Super-20 boss, took over and guided the players from age 17 to the Super-20 team. During that time, the quartet helped their team reach the Super Y-League national finals twice (2007, 2009).
All four players, along with three current PDL players (Kevin Curran, Giancarlo Granese, Alex Weidman), were on the roster when Under-17 team played Inter Milan’s Under-17 team to a 1-1 draw on August 21, 2008. Scott played the second half in goal, keeping a clean sheet during his 45 minutes between the sticks.
Tacconelli, a recent graduate of Lenape High School in Medford, NJ, will attend Iona College in New Rochelle, NY in the fall. The central midfielder scored a goal against the PSG Spartans on June 13 for the Super-20 team this year and is expected to make his PDL debut on Wednesday night when the Nor’easters host the first place Ironbound Express. Tacconelli was a two-time Super Y-League ODP selection (2007, 2008), and traveled to Germany as part of the Super Y-League Select Team in 2007. He also joined teammate Kevin Curran in a trip to South Africa with the US Youth Soccer ODP Region I team.
|Super-20 player Colin McFadden came off the bench in his first PDL game against the Ironbound Express. Photo: Bill Pellegrino|
Tacconelli was in the starting lineup on Wednesday against Ironbound Express, playing 72 minutes before being replaced by McFadden.
McFadden, from St. Augustine Prep, tied for the Super-20 team lead with three goals. He scored two of those goals in a 2-1 win over Perugia Grifos on June 27 and the other came in a 6-1 route of Reading United on June 12. McFadden will take his midfield play to the University of Scranton this fall.
Michael John Nestor, who goes by "MJ," will take his goalscoring talents to Iona College with Tacconelli this fall. Nestor was among the leading scorers in the area during his senior season at Wildwood Catholic High School, and he scored two goals for the Nor’easters Super-20 team this past season. Ocean City fans can look forward to his acrobatics as well, as Nestor is a flip throw-in specialist. Nestor was a substitute against the Express on Wednesday, replacing Kevin Curran in the 65th minute.
Scott, the lone goalkeeper on the list, was Nestor’s Wildwood Catholic High School and Super-20 teammate and was one of South Jersey’s top netminders.The goalkeeper played every minute of every game for the Nor’easters’ Super-20 squad this past season. He’s on his way to Philadelphia for his first year of college as he will attend Drexel University.