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Local Soccer Notebook 5/26/17

Penn State Lehigh Valley is adding soccer, a pair of Bucks County natives named to USL Team of the Week and more

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Jimmy Ockford celebrates with fans a win over Tulsa on May 24, 2017
David Calvert

The Lehigh Valley region is gaining two more college soccer programs.

Penn State Lehigh Valley announced this week it is adding men’s and women’s soccer. The teams will start out as club sports this fall and join the Penn State University Athletic Conference and the United State Collegiate Athletic Association in the fall of 2018. Abe Mamari, of Allentown, was announced as the head coach. Mamari was a member of the first men’s soccer team at Lehigh Carbon Community College in 2001 and started the women’s soccer team there.

In other news of local interest from the past week:

Jimmy Ockford (Yardley, Pa.) scored his first goal for Reno 1868 FC against his former team, Seattle Sounders FC 2, in a 6-0 win and was later recognized for his efforts by the league.

Ockford and San Antonio FC defender Greg Cochrane (Holland, Pa.) were both named to the USL Team of the Week.

There was a lot of winning for area teams in the PDL and NPSL last week.

A dozen teams claimed Eastern Pennsylvania state cups in Downingtown on Saturday. Click here to see the complete list of winners.

Here’s video of a pair of free kicks the Notre Dame bound Aiden McFadden (West Chester, Pa.) scored for Penn Fusion in a state cup match against Montgomery United this week. The U18 and U19 state cup finals will be played on Sunday, June 4.

Philadelphia Union Academy U18 midfielder Dawson McCartney (Voorhees, N.J.) made his first start for Bethlehem Steel FC in a 1-0 loss to Charleston Battery on Thursday. Academy grad Yosef Samuel also made his first start in the match.

Matthew De George caught up with Philadelphia Union Academy and Episcopal Academy goalkeeper Matthew Freese (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) to discuss his future at Harvard University, a recent training stint with Manchester United and more.

Villanova hasn’t released their fall schedule yet but you can pencil in another tough road game for the Wildcats. They’ll visit Creighton on September 23.

Over in the Ivy League, Penn will visit Brown University on Saturday, September 28 and host Dartmouth on October 14.

Dartmouth will have a strong local influence on their team this fall with McCartney and U18 teammate Tiger Graham (Paoli, Pa.) along with Continental FC and YSC Academy classmate Aaron Schwartz (Berwyn, Pa.) joining Union Academy grad Matt Greer (Chadds Ford, Pa.) on the squad.

The Telegraph did a story on Reading United’s English midfielder Mo Adams.

In U.S. Soccer Development Academy action:

-The Philadelphia Union Academy teams went 8-1-1 in games last weekend against Richmond United, Empire United and PDA and Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth (U12 only).
-Continental FC’s U18 team lost 2-1 to Empire United (goal by Maxwell Graham), the U16s beat Empire United 2-0 behind a brace from Jeremy Rafanello and a clean sheet for Flannan Riley.
-The PA Classics U18 team lost 2-1 to Beachside SC (goal by Isaac Hollinger) but beat Richmond United 2-1 the next day on goals from Hollinger and Justin Jaime. The U16s won both games 3-2. Vincent Bulzoni, Andrew Burkhardt and Kyle May scored in the first game and Burkhardt, May and Griffin Garrard scored in the win over Richmond United.

Have news I missed this week or a story idea? Email me at