2012 Nor'easters in the Pros report

JT Noone
Hometown: Harrisburg, PA
College: Temple (’10)
Ocean City experience: 2009 (16 Games)
Pro team(s): Philadelphia Union 2010 (MLS)
Current club: Harrisburg City Islanders 2010-present (USL Pro)

After going undrafted in the 2010 MLS Superdraft, Noone started training with the expansion Philadelphia Union. After going back and forth training with the Union and their USL Second Division affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, he eventually signed a contract with Harrisburg. Noone played 14 games for the City Islanders and picked up two assists as his hometown team fought for a playoff spot. Just as he did with Ocean City the year before, he also played a big role in the club’s run through the U.S. Open Cup.

He had a goal and an assist in the team’s 4-2 overtime win over the Brooklyn Italians (USASA) in Round 1 and followed that up with a game-winning assist in the club’s 1-0 win over the Long Island Rough Riders (PDL). In the third round, he helped the team upset the New York Red Bulls (MLS), and they nearly pulled off two MLS upsets in a row, but just like Ocean City did the year before, they lost on the road to DC United, 2-0.

On July 14 2010, Noone was given the opportunity to play against a world power. He suited up for the Union as a guest player and played in the second half in a friendly against Scottish powerhouse Celtic FC.

Two weeks later, he was in the starting lineup for the City Islanders in an exhibition game against Philadelphia on City Island in Harrisburg. He played the first half for the home team, and at halftime, he put on a Union jersey and played the second half with what would be his new club three days later. The match finished in a 1-1 draw.

Noone became the first Temple player to sign an MLS contract and is the first Ocean City FC player to sign with MLS since Adam Williamson played for the New England Revolution in 2006. Noone didn’t see any first team action in 2010 for Philly.

Tyler Bellamy
Hometown: Hammontown, NJ
College: St. Bonaventure (’10)
Ocean City experience: 2008-09 (18 Games)
Pro team(s): Rochester Rhinos 2010-present (USL Pro)
Current club: Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro)

After two solid seasons with Ocean City FC, Tyler Bellamy went to a tryout with the Rochester Rhinos of the USSF 2nd Division, the level directly below Major League Soccer. After impressing the coaching staff, he not only found himself on the opening day roster, but he was in the starting lineup. Bellamy went from a standout career at St. Bonaventure to Ocean City to the pros. He played in 23 games for the Rhinos in his 2010 rookie season, starting 20 of them, as Rochester won the USSF Division 2 regular season championship with a 16-8-6 record. Along with Bellamy on the backline, the Rhinos were among the best defenses in the league, allowing 24 goals in 30 games. In 2011 Bellamy made 26 appearances as a Rhino.

"My first season was exciting, and more importantly, knowledgeable," said Bellamy. "I learned a lot about the game, both on and off the field. I believe picking up those things quickly and trying to gather as much information from the veteran players as I could is what helped make me a better player this year."

Bellamy was named the Rhinos’ Rookie of the Year, and as a reward, the team picked up his option for 2012, which means that he will be back in Rochester next season.

Jeremy Ortiz
Hometown: Mt. Laurel, NJ
College: LaSalle (’07)
Ocean City experience: 2006-08 (30 Games)
Pro team(s): New Jersey Ironmen 2008 (MISL); Philadelphia Kixx 2008-2010 (MISL)
Current club: Rochester Lancers 2011-present (MISL)
                    US Men’s National Futsal Team

Jeremy Ortiz, who ranks third on the Ocean City FC all-time scoring list (18 goals, 6 assists in 3 seasons), has made a career from the indoor soccer scene. Ortiz played pro indoor soccer for the Philadelphia Kixx for 2 years after time with the New Jersey Ironmen after he was selected as the first overall territorial round pick in the 2008 MISL Draft. He scored five goals in 13 games in his first season with the Kixx as he played alongside former Ocean City teammate Ryan Heins. He added another 5 goals to his tally in the 2009-10 season.

In November 2011 Ortiz signed with the MISL’s Rochester Lancers after he became an important player on the US Men’s National Futsal Team. As part of the squad he is travelling around the world competing in the Brazil Grand Prix and hoping to qualify for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup. This takes place from November 2nd to 18th in Thailand and all Ocean City eyes will be on this event hoping for a successful outcome for Jeremy Ortiz.

Ryan Heins
Hometown: Medford, NJ
College: Temple (’07)
Ocean City experience: 2003-07 (66 Games)
Pro team(s): Philadelphia Kixx 2007-08 (MISL); Harrisburg City Islanders 2008 (USL-1); Rochester Rhinos 2009-10 (USL Pro)
Current club: Richmond Kickers 2011-present

One of Ocean City FC’s all-time greats has started to establish himself at the professional level, both indoors and outdoors. In 2007 he was a solid contributor for the Philadelphia Kixx of the MISL after being picked in the 1st round of the MISL Expansion Draft. In 20 games, he scored 7 goals and dished out 3 assists and was 2nd on the team in blocks with 27. When the outdoor season came around, Heins played with the Rochester Rhinos, and played in 23 games, while starting 15. What’s made the former Temple Owl so valuable has been his versatility, and his ability to play up top, as well as play on the backline. He scored four goals and had an assist as the Rhinos were crowned the USSF 2nd Division regular season champs in 2009.

Following the 2010 season, after playing 18 games with 4 goals and an assist, the Rhinos failed to pick up the option on Heins, making him a free agent. Heins was quickly snapped up by the Richmond Kickers for the 2011 season. His wealthof experience added to the Kickers midfield as he started 27 of 28 games scoring 4 goals and grabbing 2 assists.

Chris Williams
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
College: Philadelphia University (’06)
Ocean City experience: 2004-06 & 2011 (38 Games)
Pro team(s): Philadelphia Kixx 2007-08 (MISL); Miami FC 2007-09 (USL-1); SHB Da Nang FC 2010 (Vietnam)
Current club: Becamex Binh Duong FC 2012-present (Vietnam)

Chris Williams is one of the best defenders to come out of the Ocean City stable. After graduating from college he played professionally with the MISL indoor team Philadelphia Kixx playing 25 games with 1 goal and outdoor for USL-1 side Miami FC playing 52 times in 2 years with a solidarity goal. 

After becoming a regular in the Miami FC backline, Chris Williams’ career took a surprising turn when left the US for Vietnam. Williams joined Da Nang FC, a club that had just won the league and cup ’double’ after almost two decades without lifting a trophy. a club that had not won a league championship since the early 90s.

Williams scored a goal in a preseason and stepped in as a regular starter at center back for Da Nang, he helped the club continue their solid form from the previous year. However, in May, in the final game before the mid-season break, Williams suffered a minor injury. The team struggled without him as Williams searched for the highest quality physical therapy. ’Big Chris’ used the opportunity to return home to Philadelphia to rehab his injury. Williams returned to Da Nang FC and played in the Asian Champions League losing to the top team in Thailand. Da Nang FC also played in the AFC Cup losing in the semifinals to Al Rifa from the U.A.E.

After another injury the team terminated his contract in June 18 2011. Williams returned to the US to be close to his family and played again for the Ocean City Nor’easters. His talent was clear to see and it wasn’t long before he found himself back in the professional ranks.

Williams signed for Becamex Binh Duong FC in 2012 where he continues playing today in the V-League, the highest level in Vietnam. 

Tony Donatelli
Hometown: Glenside, PA
College: Temple (’06)
Ocean City experience: 2004-05 (34 Games)
Pro team(s): Vancouver Whitecaps 2006-09 (USL-1); Montreal Impact 2009-11 (USL-1); San Jose Earthquakes 2011 (MLS);
                   Rochester Rhinos 2011 (USL Pro)
Current Club: Charleston Battery 2012-present

Tony Donatelli brings success with him wherever he goes, his 14 goals and 9 assists over 2 years in Ocean City gave a glimpse of what he could do. In his rookie season with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2006 they won the USL-1 Championship. After being traded to the Montreal Impact in 2009 he helped them win the Championship beating his former club in the final.

Donatelli has established himself among the regular starters on one of the best USL-1 teams in North America. He played in all 30 of the defending champions’ games in 2009, finishing second on the team in scoring with 7 goals and 3 assists. For his efforts, he was named the Impact’s 2010 Unsung Hero, but one could argue that he was the team’s most valuable player. After a rough start to the season, Montreal came back to finish the regular season in third place with a 12-11-7 record, but they fell short of defending their title, falling to the Carolina RailHawks in the semifinals.

One of the highlights of the year was a pair of exhibition games Montreal played against two Italian clubs. They finished in a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina on May 23, but on June 2 they took on AC Milan in front of 47,861 fans. They lost the match 4-1, but for Donatelli, getting a chance to mark a player like former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and the rest of the star-studded AC Milan lineup is something Donatelli will likely tell his grandchildren about.

Donatelli told us "This past season (2010) with the Impact was definitely one of the best seasons that I have had individually as a pro. Playing in and starting practically every game not only helped my confidence but showed the consistency and dependability that I have always strived for. The season was very up and down for the team but the character we all showed to dig ourselves out of the bottom of the league and eventually reach the semifinals was very rewarding."

In 2011 Donatelli signed with the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS but after being waived he subsequently signed with USL Pro club Rochester Rhinos. After a good 2011 season he found a new home with the USL Pro team Charleston Battery alongside another former Ocean City standout Ryan Richter.

Jeremiah White
Hometown: Washington D.C.
College: Wake Forest (’04)
Ocean City experience: 2003 (9 Games)
Pro team(s): OFK Beograd 2004 (Serbia); Panserraikos 2004-05 (Greece); FC Gueugnon 2005-07 (France);
                   AGF Aarhus 2007-09 (Denmark); Al-Ettifaq 2010 (Saudi Arabia); GKS Belchatow 2010-11 (Poland)
                   United States Men’s National Team Appearance 2008
Current club: New England Revolution 2011-present (MLS)

Jeremiah White, a pacey right winger, has one of the most well travelled and successful soccer careers for any of the players who have been a part of the Ocean City franchise. Following graduation from Wake Forest, White went to Europe, in an effort to prove that he could succeed there. He signed with Serbian club OFK Beograd, in January 2004, shunning offers from MLS side, where he had been drafted in the third round of the MSL SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. White was released from his contract so that he could move onwards and upwards to play for Paserraikos in Greece, White only made 8 apperances in the 2004-05 season but that was enough to garner the attention of French Ligue 2 side FC Guegnon.

White spent 2 exciting seasons in France playing 25 games and scoring 7 times. After 2 seasons the soccer nomad moved onto AGF Aarhus in Denmark, arguably the highest level he played at. He signed for AGF while they were in the 2nd level, the Danish First Division, and helped get them promoted to the top level, the Danish Superliga. It was also during his time in Denmark that White made his only US Men’s National Team appearance against Sweden on January 18th 2008. White came on as a substitute to support Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy. After 2 years, 86 games and 7 goals White was on the move again, this time to the cash heavy Saudi Arabia and Al-Ettifaq.

The 12 games with Al-Ettifaq in 2010 made White the second American to play professionally in Saudi Arabia. However, the time there didn’t last long and he was on the move to GKS Belchatow in Poland. White signed a 1 year deal but only played in 3 games.

It was time for White to return home to the US and the MLS. It was the New England Revolution who signed the free agent 8 years after he had spurned them for Europe. White, now 30, is now hoping to settle down and have a succesful run in the MLS and make his name in America.

Jamal Neptune
Hometown: East Windsor, NJ
College: Hofstra (’10)
Ocean City experience: 2009 (16 Games)
Pro team(s): Sandviks IK 2009-present (Sweden)
Current club: Sandviks IK 2009-present (Sweden)

Remember in 2009, when Jamal Neptune was part of Ocean City FC’s fantastic backline that helped the club reach the third round of the U.S. Open Cup and the quarterfinals of the PDL playoffs? That year, he played in all 16 games and was third on the team in minutes played, helping Ocean City set a club record for goals allowed in a season (14). Well, the lifelong defender has traded in his tackling boots for goalscoring boots and is playing professionally in Sweden.

After his standout 2009 PDL season with Ocean City, he carried that momentum back to Hofstra University where he was an All-Region selection. As his college career came to a close, he decided to see if he had what it took to play at the next level, so he attended the USL Player Combine in Charleston, South Carolina. With coaches and general managers from every USL First and Second Division team in attendance, in addition to some scouts from overseas, he played his "absolute best soccer," but only got a second look from NSC Minnesota, but didn’t end up sticking.
"It was disappointing to say the least," said Neptune. "God has a plan for us all, and I guess my journey didn’t entail the USL at the time."

After failing to land in the USL, he was still confident in his abilities, so he flew over to Sweden on July 19, on his own dime, to go on trial with Umea FC, a club in the country’s third tier (Division 1 Norra). The manager of Umea FC, Stuart Gibson, was a friend of a friend of Richard Nuttal, Jamal’s coach at Hofstra. 

While on trial with Umea FC, he also trained with Sandviks IK a team in the sixth tier of Sweden. After playing in a friendly for Sandviks on July 26, he was offered a contract to finish the remainder of the season with the team. Neptune, who had played as a defender for his entire life, discovered his offensive touch by scoring nine goals in 10 games as well as dishing out four assists to help the club earn promotion to Division 3 Norra (5th tier).

Ryan Richter
Hometown: Southampton, PA
College: LaSalle (’10)
Ocean City experience: 2008-10 (45 Games)
Pro team(s): Philadelphia Union 2011 (MLS); Harrisburg City Islanders 2011 - LOAN (USL Pro)
Current club: Charleston Battery 2012-present (USL Pro)

Ryan Richter was drafted as the 5th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by expansion side Philadelphia Union, he played 2 games against English Premier League team Everton and Spanish La Liga side Real Madrid. His substitute appearance against Real Madrid included tackles on Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. Richter did not make an MLS appearance in 2011 and was loaned out to Harrisburg City Islanders of USL Pro. He made his USL Pro debut against Charleston Battery on June 4th 2011.

After being released by the Union Richter had a trial at DC United but eventually found his new home with the Charlseton Battery in USL Pro. His work ethic, determination and skill level will ensure that he can have a successful professional career.

Pat Hannigan
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
College: Temple (’05)
Ocean City experience: 2004 & 2011 (16 Games)
Pro team(s): Rochester Rhinos 2006 (USL-1): Philadelphia Kixx 2006-07 (MISL); New Jersey Ironmen 2008-09 (XSL);
Miami FC 2007-09 (USL-1); Rochester Lancers 2011-12 (MISL)
Current club: San Antonio Scorpians 2012-present (NASL)

Pat Hannigan is a native of Philadelphia who played his college soccer at Temple. While at Temple, Hannigan was twice named the Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Hannigan was selected in the third round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft by the MetroStars. When he was not offered a contract by the MLS club he turned to Rochester Rhinos in USL-1 who picked him up for the season. Hannigan then turned his attention to the indoor league playing for Philadelphia Kixx and New Jersey Ironmen over 3 years. During the 2006-07 MISL season, Hannigan earned All-MISL Rookie Team honors as a member of the MISL Champion Philadelphia KiXX. The indoor leagues are used by many players to supplement their income and playing time against the summer outdoor leagues.
Hannigan became the first choice goalkeeper at Miami FC for 2 years in one of the clubs most successful periods. He continued to play the indoor and outdoor seasons with the New Jersey Ironmen and Rochester Lancers and in the summer of 2011 came back to the Nor’easters to offer his experience to the younger goalkeepers in the squad.

Hannigan has now settled in San Antonio with the Scorpians of the NASL. His ability is without question and he will battle for that number 1 jersey down in the heart of Texas.