The Official Site of Jersey Shore Boca Jr. FC

Boca Awarded PDL Franchise
November 25, 2002

Boca Awarded PDL Franchise 25/11/02

The Board of Directors of Jersey Shore Boca has announced on Monday that the club has been awarded a Premier Development League franchise from the United Soccer Leagues and will begin play in the 2003 season.

The PDL is one of five leagues under the umbrella of the USL. The USL consists of two professional leagues (A-League and D-3 Pro League), men’s amateur league (PDL), women’s open league (W-League) and the elite youth Super Y-League.

During the 2002 PDL season just completed, forty-seven PDL teams competed in eight divisions within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada.

Designed to help develop players for professional careers, the PDL allows elite high school and college players to compete in a “pro”-like environment without losing their college eligibility. The PDL was also granted Olympic Development Program status by the United States Soccer Federation in 2001.

The Premier Development League is the only national men’s U-23 amateur league in the country. PDL rosters can carry up to twenty-six players, including up to eight players over the age of 23. PDL rosters must also include at least three players who are under the age of 19.

PDL teams also have the opportunity to compete against teams from Major League Soccer, the A-League and the D3 Pro League on an annual basis in exibition games and in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

“Our club’s philosophy has always been to provide the best possible opportunities for our jersey shore youth soccer players. Now with our linking up with the USL with our PDL team, it seems we have taken the final step” stated Walt Pericciuoli, Boca’s Vice President and General Manager of their PDL team.

“Having been one of the founders of Jersey Shore Boca, it has always been my dream to be part of the global soccer community and now being part of the PDL fulfills that dream. As the General Manager of our PDL team, it will be my total commitment to make our club truly representative of the best players from the jersey shore” Pericciuoli continued.

As the nation’s top development league for professional prospects, the Premier Development League has been a hotbed for success stories over the past few years.

During the 2000 PDL season, the Mid Michigan Bucks and two-time PDL champion Chicago Sockers knocked off Major League Soccer’s top two clubs at the time to advance to the third round of the US Open Cup, grabbing headlines across the nation.

The PDL has also left its mark in the collegiate ranks. In the 2002 NCAA Division I college soccer tournament which kicked off last week, 247 players have played in the Premier Development League over the last five seasons. Of the 48 schools in the tournament, 45 feature current or former PDL players. The eight seeded schools in the tournament have a total of 55 players from the PDL, including UCLA, which has the second highest total in the tournament at 15.

Indiana has 17 players in the tournament with PDL experience, including five-year PDL player Ryan Mack, a finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, which honors the nation’s best collegiate soccer player. His teammate and fellow Hermann Trophy finalist Pat Noonan also played the last three years in the PDL.

“Since our club’s beginning over 20 years ago, we have always been on the forefront of the highest level of soccer here at the jersey shore,” said Al Schwartz, President of Jersey Shore Boca. “We were part of the North East Super Soccer League in 1990; we helped the New Jersey Stallions first get organized and set up shop here in 1995; we were invited into the Super Y-League in 2001 and now will play in the PDL next year.”

“We believe the future of soccer here in the United States will develop with players coming from the PDL and Super Y-League ranks. We’re very excited to be a part of that” Schwartz continued.

Under the terms of the franchise agreement with the USL, Boca will start competition in the 2003 season with a provisional 12 game PDL schedule that begins in April and ends in July. The agreement also gives Boca the exclusive USL territory rights for Ocean County and portions of Monmouth and Burlington Counties in New Jersey.

The Jersey Shore Boca PDL side will compete in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference.

Boca will play their home matches at Ocean County College in Toms River and will schedule their PDL and Super Y-League games connected to each other in order to create a “Shore Soccer Weekend” whenever possible. Boca has been a member of the USL’s elite Super Y-League since 2001.

“Our club was founded in 1978 with a mission to provide the highest level of training and competition available to help shore area soccer players develop and continue their playing careers into college and even beyond. We have accomplished that for the past 20 years. Just take a look at some of our alumni who have gone through our program” said Walt Konopka, treasurer and member of the Jersey Shore Boca Board of Directors.

“By adding a PDL team to our already existing Super Y-League teams, our club has truly become part of the national soccer landscape in the United States. We are the only soccer club in the shore to provide such a tremendous opportunity and environment for our players. We are very proud to be a part of the PDL and look forward to the 2003 season” Konopka continued.

Jersey Shore Boca has been a fixture in the soccer community since 1978 and is one of the most respected soccer clubs in New Jersey. The club will celebrate their 25-year anniversary in 2003.

The club is based out of Toms River (Ocean County) and programs include youth level teams from U11 to U19, a U23 team and a men’s “open” team.

Boca alumni include several former National and Olympic Team members as well as numerous collegiate DI –DIII players, coaches and former local high school standouts.

One of the most recognized Boca alumni is current U18 United States Men’s National Team & University of VA Coach George Gelnovatch who played under Boca Coach Walt Pericciuoli while also staring at Wall High School in the 1980s. Gelnovatch is also a former member of the US National Team and played professionally with DC United of Major League Soccer.

Although Jersey Shore Boca has not yet appointed the head coach of their PDL team, the Club’s short list of candidates currently include locals Ted Gillen, Adam Curtis and Jeff Haines. Gillen and Curtis were both products of the Jersey Shore Boca youth program.

Ted Gillen was a standout performer at Toms River East HS and then achieved All-American status while at Penn State University. He was a member of the United States National Team as well as the NY-NJ Metrostars of Major League Soccer. Gillen also played professionally with the NJ Stallions of the USL’s D3 Pro League. Gillen’s coaching background includes stints with the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Penn State University and the 1998 USASA Olympic Festival Team.

Adam Curtis currently holds a USSF “B” coaching license and is the head women’s soccer coach of Georgian Court College in Lakewood, NJ. The Bay Head native was also a standout youth and high school player in NJ. Curtis continued his playing career at the Univeristy of Rhode Island and was a part of their Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA Tournament teams of the mid 1990’s. Curtis also played professionally in New Zeland and also with the NJ Stallions of the USL’s D3 Pro League.

Jeff Haines is the current head men’s soccer coach at Richard Stockton College in Pamona, NJ. Haines led the Ospreys on a record-setting march to the 2001 NCAA Division III championship. Stockton set an NCAA all-division men’s soccer record with 25 victories and delivered the College’s first national title in any sport. Haines is a native of Pitman, New Jersey and a 1990 graduate of Lock Haven University, where he was a four-year letter winner on the men’s soccer team. Before coming to Stockton, Haines also served as an assistant coach at Lock Haven, The College of New Jersey and Gloucester County College. He currently holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and is an NSCAA State and Regional Staff Coach.

Pericciuoli finalized Jersey Shore Boca’s committment to the PDL and local soccer community by adding “… We want the soccer people in the shore community to identify with and be proud of the local PDL players we will put out on the field. We want them to feel that the players represent everyone’s dedicated efforts to continue to develop soccer here at the shore.”