The 2014 ended with Erie narrowly missing out on the post-season playoffs, for only the second time in its six-year history, by one point with a record of 6-6-2 (wins-losses-draws).
As we enter the off-season, several exciting new changes will be taking place, not least the clubs ownership which will now consist of Dan 'Diggsy' Howell and Daniel Mudd, alongside remaining majority-owner, John Melody.
With the team looking to relaunch and rebrand this will highly likely include a name change, logo redesign, and possibly new colors, we are asking for people to help commence our fundraising efforts for the 2015 season with a donation. Anything that you can offer, no matter how large or small, will aid our efforts keep the Erie team competitive on the field and maintain it's profile off the field.
Erie's players have always tried to Pay-it-Forward, however, in 2015 we will look to do even more work to promote soccer within the community. We will work with organizations such as: The Boys and Girls Club, The Second Harvest Food Bank, United Way, and many others to give back to a community that gives so much to the team. Over the past two seasons, in association with the U Pick 6 Tap House, we have raised $2,226 for The Red Cross - Erie Chapter.
For those who may be unfamiliar, here is a brief history of the Erie team thus far...
The Erie NPSL franchise started in 2009 as an unknown quantity. As a group of former and current college soccer players we came together to take Erie to the National Championship in our inaugural season, with a record of 11-1-1. We would finally succumb to four-time runner-up Sonoma County Sol 2-1 in extra-time.
Having set the bar so high, we were no longer an unknown commodity on the National Premier Soccer League (the fourth tier in US soccer). We had now become a target, a team that others wanted to beat. Over the course of the next five seasons we narrowly missed out on the post-season playoffs only twice, reaching a further two Final Four national tournaments in a league of almost 100 teams. The opponent who eliminated us have always gone on to be crowned National Champions.
We have built the team year-after-year upon a solid foundation of international flair coupled with local Erie excellence. We combine experienced players who mentor and guide the more youthful players. Our major goal, beyond bringing a National Championship home to Erie, is to develop young, local soccer players capable of moving through the ranks of the US or foreign soccer systems.
We have developed into a team renowned for success. We have an overall record of 54-17-12, and have the following accolades: 2009 Keystone Conference Champions, 2009 Regional Champions, 2009 National Runners-Up, 2011 Conference Champions, 2011 Regional Champions, 2011 National Third place, 2012 Conference Champions, 2013 Conference Playoff Champions, 2013 Regional Champions, and 2013 National Third Place.
Many players have come to Erie from far-and-wide and experienced nights that will be remembered for the rest of their lives. The picture below shows the euphoric scenes after the narrow regional championship victory over Brooklyn Italians in 2011. Anyone who was present will remember this as what has come to be known as a stereotypical Erie performance; dogged and determined as we beat an arguably better opponent 1-0 with a Billy Colton penalty.
Below are the scenes after the conference playoffs in 2013 as we defeated our two major rivals, Buffalo and undefeated Detroit, back-to-back. The latter, a 4-1 victory over the number one team in the nation in front of 3,000 diehard Detroit fans would send us to Iowa, to face Quad City in the national quarter-final.
After defeating Quad City 1-0, another dogged team effort!
Erie native and two-year Erie player Dan 'Diggsy' Howell playing professionally for KA in Iceland:
Five-year players, Billy Colton (pictured center), and Erie native Jared Ott (pictured right), both spent a season playing in New Zealand for Waitakere United and Maycenvale United AFC respectively:
Evan Chaté and Ashley Young (pictured below) both spent time playing for Bunbury in Western Australia. The latter is now playing in England for semi-professional side Ashton United.
Greg Blum, currently playing for Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL (pictured below). Other notable players who have moved on to the Riverhounds include: Jeremy Deighton, Neil Shaffer, and Luca Campos:
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