NPSL side from Philadelphia area will play Ocean City on July 2; MLS side's development team arrives on July 13
UPDATE: The D.C. United Under-23s match has been moved to a 6 p.m. kickoff time.
For the third year in a row, the Ocean City Nor'easters will welcome a pair of high-level opponents for exhibition games at Carey Stadium.
On Monday, July 2, West Chester United, a club that fields teams in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and the Northeast Soccer League (NESL), will arrive in Ocean City to take on the Nor'easters. United will bring a Under-23 team to take on the Nor'easters' Under-23s for a 3:30 p.m. kick with the main event taking place at 7 p.m.
Less than two weeks later, on Friday, July 13, the D.C. United Under-23s team will make their third straight appearance at the Beach House. It will be a rematch of last year's exciting friendly that will kick off at 6 p.m.
West Chester United is an amateur club based in West Chester, Pa. They were originally founded as an Over-30 team in 2008 but quickly rose to prominence in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania, a league that features US Open Cup winning teams like United German Hungarians and Ukrainian Nationals, among other storied teams such as Vereinigung Erzgebirge and Phoenix SC. A majors team was soon created, and now West Chester has an expansive youth program and senior teams that compete in two separate leagues.
West Chester founder Vince D’Ambrosio had big plans for his club.
“The idea was always to enter cups and win as many trophies as possible. That give us a lot of soccer to play, and the trophies attract many high-quality players.”
United won several trophies in the last few years including the club's first-ever berth in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 2016 where they advanced to the Second Round. They won the 2015 USASA Werner Fricker Open Cup national title, in addition to their four regional titles at the Open Cup and Under-23 level and several state championships including two United Soccer League of Pennsylvania crowns. Most recently, they won the USASA Region I Amateur Cup tournament.
The D.C. United Under-23s are an independent club that does not compete in any national, regional, or local leagues. They do this so that they have the freedom to make their own schedule without roster management restrictions and give their players the opportunity to play against a wide range of talented clubs during the summer.
"We typically keep a larger roster to evaluate and work with as many players as possible as we scout for USL, MLS and other opportunities with our club," said D.C. United U-23s head coach Nate Kish. "We also want to provide a pathway for players that used to play in our academy, and our staff continues to log hours for players that could potentially sign homegrown contracts."
The Nor'easters first met the D.C. United Under-23s in a preseason friendly on May 21, 2016 with the Storm picking up a 3-0 win. Chevy Walsh, Tim Ogunniyi and Nathan Regis all scored for Ocean City. Walsh would use that performance to springboard his league performance that year, winning the 2016 PDL MVP award.
Last year, the two teams would meet again in a friendly that took place after the regular season concluded on July 15, 2017. The Nor'easters looked like they were ready to win a second straight game over D.C. as they held a 3-1 lead late in the game with a pair of goals by Ismael Noumansana and another by Francisco Neto. However, United would stun the home crowd at the Beach House with a goal in the 84th minute and then an equalizer in second half stoppage time.
MORE: D.C. United Under-23 roster