|Full name||Crystal Palace Baltimore|
|Head Coaches|| Jim Cherneski
|League||USSF Division 2 Professional League|
|2009 (USL2)||Regular Season: 6th
Playoffs: did not qualify
Crystal Palace Baltimore is an American professional soccer team based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is currently a member of the NASL Division of the USSF Division 2 Professional League, the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The USSF D-2 was created in 2010 by the United States Soccer Federation as a temporary one-season compromise between the feuding North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer Leagues (USL). The team, which was founded in 2006, is part of the player development system for English Football League Championship side Crystal Palace F.C..
It has played its home games at UMBC Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland since 2008. It is in the preliminary stages of building a 5,000 to 7,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in the Port Covington neighborhood of Baltimore to be constructed by Opening Day Partners. The team colors are red, blue and white. The current managers are Jim Cherneski and Pete Medd.
Crystal Palace Baltimore was established on May 5, 2006 by Crystal Palace F.C.'s Chairman Simon Jordan, Vice Chairman Dominic Jordan, Chief Executive Phil Alexander, Director of Football Bob Dowie and Cherneski, the new American-based club's Sporting Director. The Baltimore franchise originally intended to be in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). Instead, it joined the USL Second Division (USL-2) when it began playing a full schedule of contests in 2007. The team's original official title was Crystal Palace F.C. USA until January 27, 2010, when it was changed to the more popularly accepted name Crystal Palace Baltimore.
Crystal Palace Baltimore's debut, its only match played in 2006, was against its sister club at the United States Naval Academy's Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis, Maryland on July 15. The team consisted of the local Maryland-based universities' top players, including Chris Seitz, A. J. DeLaGarza and Maurice Edu. Rade Kokovic scored the Americans' first-ever goal to tie the game in the 30th minute, but the home side eventually lost 3–1.
The third match of the series was played at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland on July 13, 2009. Val Teixeira tied the score at one in the 18th minute and Jordan Seabrook brought the team within a goal at 3–2 in the 59th, but the Americans dropped a 5–2 decision.
In its initial appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament, Crystal Palace Baltimore lost its first-round game to the PDL's Ocean City Barons 1–0 at Carey Stadium in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 12, 2007. The squad played most of the contest with a one-man disadvantage after Harold Urquijo was red carded in the 22nd minute. The lone goal was surrendered just before halftime.
The 2008 run began on June 10 at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California with a 2–1 win over the PDL's Los Angeles Legends. Pat Healey scored both goals for the winning side, the second one breaking a 1–1 deadlock in the 89th minute. A fortnight later on June 24, Palace earned another away victory by outlasting the Harrisburg City Islanders, a USL-2 rival, in a penalty shootout 2–2 (3–1). Baltimore became the only USL-2 team to advance to the quarterfinals of that year's tournament with a 2–0 upset of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls at Broadneck High School in Annapolis on July 1. The goalscorers were Andrew Marshall in the 18th minute and Gary Brooks in the 75th. Even though they took the defending Cup champion New England Revolution, another MLS club, to a penalty shootout, Palace's efforts to reach the semifinals fell short 1–1 (3–5) at Veterans Stadium in New Britain, Connecticut on July 8.
Postponed a day due to a soggy pitch caused by rainstorms, Baltimore's 2009 first-round contest on June 10 involved the same opponent and stadium as two years earlier. The result was a 3–0 defeat.
Crystal Palace Baltimore's 2007 inaugural year in USL-2 began with a four-game losing streak. After dropping a 4–1 decision in its season opener at the Charlotte Eagles on April 20, Palace endured three straight home shutouts. This was followed up by a seven-match undefeated stretch, but with only three victories. They closed out the campaign winning six of its final seven contests, powered by the midseason acquisition of Brooks, the team's leading scorer with seven goals in only nine games. He and Matthew Mbuta, who contributed five goals, were named to the All-League First Team. Baltimore finished in fifth place, but barely missed the playoffs because it was the final season in which only the top four sides qualified.
The beginning of 2008 was the reverse of the previous year as Baltimore ran off five victories, the first four being shutouts. Despite surrendering the same amount of goals as they produced, the ballclub's ascent to fourth place ensured its first postseason appearance. Like in the U.S. Open Cup seven weeks earlier, its first rounder at home with the defending USL-2 champion City Islanders on August 13 was a 2–2 stalemate that was decided by penalty kicks, with Baltimore prevailing 7–6. Three nights later on August 16, they were denied the opportunity to play in the championship match with a 2–1 loss to the top-seeded Eagles in Charlotte. Shintaro Harada, Palace's lone representative on the All-League First Team, scored in the fifth minute for an early lead the squad would take into the second half.
Palace entered 2009 without Brooks, whose contract wasn't renewed even though his seven goals in each of the previous two campaigns led the team both times. Baltimore, scoring a league-low 16 goals, fell to sixth place and missed the playoffs. They were hurt by a pair of slumps. After opening with two wins and a draw, they went without a victory in seven of its next eight contests (1–2–5). They finished winless in six of seven (1–2–4), including being shut out in its final three games. Teixeira was the top scorer with only five goals. The highlight of the season was Harada receiving All-League First Team honors again for leading the circuit's second-best defense.
Previously expected to move up to the USL First Division (USL-1), Crystal Palace Baltimore announced on November 20, 2009 that they instead would join the new North American Soccer League (NASL). After lawsuits were filed and heated press statements exchanged, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) declared they would sanction neither the NASL nor USL-1 for the coming year, and ordered both to work together on a plan to temporarily allow its teams to play a 2010 season. The interim solution was announced on January 7, 2010 with the new USSF Division 2 Professional League comprised of clubs from both quarreling circuits.
|Year||Division||League||W–D–L||GF–GA||Points||Position||Playoffs||US Open Cup|
|2007||3||USL-2||9–5–6||27–20||32||5th||Did not qualify||First Round|
|2009||3||USL-2||6–5–9||16–20||23||6th||Did not qualify||First Round|
as at February 11, 2010 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Founder, Sporting Director and Co-Manager:||Jim Cherneski||American|
|President and Co-Manager:||Pete Medd||American|
|Club Administrator:||Jen Pagliaro||American|
|Vice-President/General Manager:||Keith Lupton||American|
|Assistant Manager:||Todd Wawrousek||American|
|Goalkeeping Coach:||Karim Moumban||Cameroonian|
|Doctor||Todd J. Tredinnick||American|
|Academy Director||Matt Smith||American|
Crystal Palace Football Club