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Previewing the Barons

What do a fourth-grade teacher, a civil engineer, a youth coach and a collection of college-age guys have in common? They are all members of the Ocean City Barons, an amateur team from a resort town on the New Jersey shore that upset two USL2 opponents to set up a U.S. Open Cup round-of-16 match with D.C. United tonight at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Live video is available at Radio coverage at WTOP (1050 AM) and WACA (1540 AM, Spanish).

The Barons arrived in the D.C. area yesterday in preparation for the biggest match in their history. Three buses of supporters are on the way.

"It's an exciting moment for the whole club -- it's going to be an experience of a lifetime," said forward Byron Carmichael, 27, the Barons' all-time leading scorer who starred at Marshall University and whose full-time career is teaching at an elementary school in Trenton, N.J. "We know it's an uphill battle, but I told the [younger] guys that a lot of D.C.'s players started out the same way they did. They are players doing their jobs just like us and they love the game."

For more on the Barons and tonight's match, please keep reading this thread.....

Almost all of the Barons are college players on summer break. Several are from La Salle and Hofstra, others are from Fairfield, St. Bonaventure, Holy Cross, Colgate, Temple, Boston College and James Madison. Goalkeeper Tunde Oginbiyi transferred from New Hampshire to BC. He was in Nigeria's player pool for last year's Olympic squad but didn't make the cut. His brother, Jide, was drafted in the second round by the Red Bulls from Santa Clara this year. Giancarlo Granese, 18, is the son of club owner John Granese and is headed to Hofstra.

The three older players are Carmichael; defensive midfielder Leon Brown, 28, who starred at Division II Wheeling Jesuit and now coaches in Ocean City's youth system; and central defender Joe Banks, 25, a former Drexel player who works as an engineer.

The Barons have a 6-3-1 record and have yielded just eight goals in the Northeast Division of the Premier Development League, the fourth tier of the American soccer system. They upset USL2's Crystal Palace Baltimore and Real Maryland to reach the round of 16.

"It's a huge game for us and we've got to calm our nerves quickly. The atmosphere will be different than almost anything we've experienced," said Carmichael, who, as a member of the Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads in 2003, faced United in the Open Cup.

Over the past 14 years, Carmichael is tied for third in Open Cup goals with Dante Washington and Sebastian Le Toux. They trail DCU's Jaime Moreno and Rochester's Johnny Menyonger.

Moreno said of United facing an amateur opponent: "There's always danger if you think it's going to be easy. We've been through those experiences before, and you always have to go with a mentality of scoring a few goals so the game will be over and you can relax a little bit and enjoy the game. You know with a team like that, they have nothing to lose. You know they are going to work so hard and that it's one chance in a lifetime."

By Steve Goff  |  June 30, 2009; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: ESPN's USA-Brazil Numbers (continued)
Next: CONCACAF Done With Sudamericana


Hopefully it will be a fun match. I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: sitruc | June 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I hope they don't show up with the Hansen brothers. I hope DC United doesn't show up with Stoichkov.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I hope they don't show up with the Hansen brothers. I hope DC United doesn't show up with Stoichkov.
Posted by: OWNTF

I hope you mean the guys from Slap Shot.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

this is why the open cup is a cool tourney.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 30, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Courtesy of South Jersey's NBC40, here's a little bit of highlights from their weekend game - a victory over Rhode Island Stingrays.

The soccer highlights are about 2 minutes in after the baseball. NBC40's sportscaster calls tonight's Open Cup game the biggest in franchise history and says their news crew will be at the Plex. He also claims their website will have a link w streaming video.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 30, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link Joel. The accent brings flashbacks . . . . just in time for the 4th too . . . .

"Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
Forcin' a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July
Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast, so shiny, so sharp
As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers on the shore
Chasin' all them silly New York virgins by the score

Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight for I may never see you again
Hey Sandy girl
Now now baby"

Danny Federici RIP

Posted by: OWNTF | June 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

$25? Yikes.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I found two more articles from last week that Chalatenango has indeed sold their place in the first division, but nothing more about the CL.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse


$20 for season ticket holders. Thats a little better...

Posted by: me_ahogo | June 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If DCU plays Firpo instead, ticket sales will really take off for that Tuesday night game.

Posted by: Pedalada | June 30, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Goff, great preview of the Barons.

DCU does not want to let the Barons hang around. The more confidence that they get the more complicated the match will become.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 30, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

$25 is asanine - but I'm still going.

Anyone know what ticket sales have been like - I know they sold out last summer - walk ups a safe bet?

Posted by: Kev29 | June 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I wish the OC Barons had the home game tonight, as I am in Ocean City on family vacation duty. I just jogged on the high school field (i like to stay in shape) at 6th and Atlantic (where the Barons play) and i have to say it is pretty bad... Would have been cool though.

you guys enjoy paying 25 bucks (rip off) I am going to the beach.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

If you pay $25, your wallet will be baron.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Too bad it's $25. That's just silly. But you get to enjoy a nice drive up 270 at rush hour too, so that's worth it.

Posted by: AsstGM | June 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

------- Khumalo - N'Silu
------------- Barklage
Wallace - DiRaimondo - Jacobson - Pontius
------- John/Burch - Janicki - McTavish
---------------- Kocic

My guess is that Burch gets the start -- for his Open Cup free kick genius -- but Soehn might rest him to give John some action. I think this position might say a lot about what DCU plans to do in the transfer market. If it's Burch, then John's days with DCU are severely numbered.

With the injuries to Fred, Jaime and Moreno, plus the absences of Jakovic and Quaranta, this is a very thin roster. As the USA and Canada may go deep into the Gold Cup, United may need to pick up a couple of someones sooner than later. A defender, and either a striker or winger (Pontius can fill either role).

Posted by: fischy | June 30, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

That should read: "injuries to Fred, Jaime and Luciano".....

Posted by: fischy | June 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what United is thinking. $25 for a kid's ticket tonight is beyond ridiculous. For me to take my kids would cost me $100 – this to see the United reserves play an amateur team. If they had $5 or even $10 youth tickets, people might bring their kids, might enjoy themselves and might later go down to RFK and see an MLS game. Another golden marketing opportunity lost by the worst marketed professional sports team I have ever seen.

Posted by: congguy | June 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

quit yer yapping about prices people.

this is not a reserve side we are fielding..

VAMOS UNITED and such...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | June 30, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

congguy wrote: "Another golden marketing opportunity lost by the worst marketed professional sports team I have ever seen."

I guess that means you haven't seen this:

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 30, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I-270: You sure you didn't mean these Hansons?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 30, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@congguy I have to disagree about DC United being marketed poorly, although I agree that $25 is a bit much for an Open Cup match.

I was at an athletic directors meeting for the Washington CYO sports program last night. While basketball is CYO's biggest sport, DC United is the only local sports team that's approached them and met with them about holding a CYO night (at RFK Stadium in September). At the end of the meeting, the CYO people started talking up the Real Madrid friendly.

That shows some hard work, and to me, that's good marketing because they got free advertising for DCU and created some buzz.

Posted by: billindmd | June 30, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

$25 for a kid's ticket tonight is beyond ridiculous. For me to take my kids would cost me $100 – this to see the United reserves play an amateur team.

Posted by: congguy | June 30, 2009 2:11 PM

But it's all about small capacity - and fleecing a small fan base. Welcome to the MLS dream!

Posted by: Kev29 | June 30, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

the tickets are a bit outragous concidering that they will have another game there next week against a better team if they win tonight. This game should have been priced to fill up the stadium tonight. a nobody opponent and a team that will be made up of mostley reserves. look at the injury list and the guys out for national team duty, and we have to field a number of reserves. I will be suprised if this game sells out, and I will be releived if we win. Ever heard of the term "Trap Game"? This is it.

Posted by: jjfooty | June 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll be braving the traffic to drive from my home which is less than a mile from RFK out to the Soccerplex...always wanted to see it. I'd love to buy a Barons scarf if they have anything like that.

Posted by: mbetka23 | June 30, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse


I think with Jakovic away, we'll be seeing plenty of John. Janicki's lack of speed in a back three is a problem, and playing him alongside Burch will compound that. John is by no means lightning fast, but he's quicker than Burch. If we go with a back three where Namoff or McTavish is the only player with even average speed, we'll have to sit very deep, which makes possession harder, which means we either have to get away from what we do well or try to succeed under difficult circumstances.

In other words, hope for Canada being swiftly eliminated.


I don't think you understand a key point: MLS clubs have little money for marketing, and (from what I've been told) that money goes entirely towards marketing league matches and, if they get them, games against foreign clubs. The USOC is a losing proposition, financially speaking, since the only fans that care are the diehards. No MLS club puts much behind it unless they find themselves in the semifinals. Even if rent at the Soccerplex is lower than RFK, it's still a cost that has to be paid.

Is $25 high for this game? Of course it is. However, with the financial situation at the club, you can't really be surprised that they're trying to recoup their losses in hosting Open Cup games (a cost they incur over and over to get home field advantage in this tournament, giving us a better chance of winning trophies).


I would imagine you might be able to work a scarf trade with a Barons fan, assuming they have scarves. A Battery fan offered to trade shirts with me on the Metro after last year's final (I turned him down because every United shirt I've ever had has been my shirt for an MLS Cup win; until we win another, I'm sticking with my 2006 edition shirt). If not, you can go the baller route and just offer people cash for their possessions on the spot.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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