were a professional soccer team, based in Hershey
Hershey is a census-designated place in Derry Township, Dauphin County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The community is located 14 miles east of Harrisburg and is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. Hershey has no legal status as an incorporated municipality...
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
, that played in the USL A-League between 1997 and 2001. The team was owned by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company
Hershey Entertainment and Resorts , also known as "HERCO", is a privately owned company of the Hershey Trust Company.- History :The company was originally founded by Milton S...
. The team played in Hersheypark Stadium
Hersheypark Stadium is a stadium, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on the grounds of Hersheypark. The General Manager is Frank O'Connell.It is used as a sporting facility, concert venue and location for various other large functions . In addition, it hosted the 2004 Presidential Race Campaign stop...
, located at Hersheypark
Hersheypark is an amusement park located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, near the Hershey Chocolate Factory.Hersheypark was opened on April 24, 1907 as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, an American confectionery company. Later, the company decided to open the park to the...
, and received its name from the Wild Cat
The Wild Cat was the name of a wooden roller coaster located in Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Milton S. Hershey had the ride built at a cost of $50,000, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the town of Hershey. It was the first roller coaster built in Hersheypark...
The Wildcats were moderately successful in their short existence, with Bob Lilley
Robert "Bob" Lilley is an American former soccer player and head coach. He has managed the Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Detroit Ignition, and Rochester Rhinos....
coaching the team for its entire five-year run, leading the Wildcats to the playoffs in each season. In 2001, Hershey reached the A-League finals but were defeated 2-0 by the Rochester Raging Rhinos
The Rochester Rhinos are an American professional soccer team based in Rochester, New York, United States. Founded in 1996, the team plays in the National Division of the new USL Professional Division, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, having self-relegated from the USSF D2 Pro League...
Less than a week after the championship match, in October 2001, Hershey Entertainment announced that the Wildcats were folding. Weak attendance, including a crowd of only 750 for the 2001 playoff semifinal, was a factor in the decision to fold the team. With the league unable to find a new owner for the club, the players became free agents.
Notable players that played for the Wildcats and then went on to play in Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...
include Jon Busch
Jon Busch is an American soccer goalkeeper for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.-Youth and College:...
and Christof Lindenmayer
Christof Lindenmayer is a former professional soccer player who competed for the Columbus Crew as well as the Hershey Wildcats and the Virginia Beach Mariners before retiring due to chronic hamstring injuries...
||Round of 16
||Did not qualify
||Did not qualify