Second place Ocean City travels to Elizabeth, N.J. seeking first road win vs. Express since 2013
The Ocean City Nor'easters will wrap up a string of four straight road games when they travel north to take on in-state rival Jersey Express on Wednesday, June 7.
The game will be played at Williams Field in Elizabeth, N.J. with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.
On Wednesday night, the Nor'easters are hoping to snap a two-game losing streak after dropping a pair of close games against arguably the two best teams in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
The Nor'easters are currently tied for second place in the division, just three points behind the team that started this two-game skid, the New York Red Bulls Under-23s. Ocean City hit the post four times in a 3-1 road loss to the Red Bulls back on May 27.
Last Friday, in the PDL's Game of the Week, they dropped a 1-0 decision to their long-time rival, Reading United AC. It was a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference championship game that Ocean City won 4-1. It was a battle between two outstanding defensive teams but Reading ultimately got their revenge on a deflected goal by Aaron Molloy in the 82nd minute.
Ocean City (3-2-0) will visit Jersey Express (1-3-0), who have had their number in recent years. The Express lead the all-time series between the clubs with a 9-5-4 record. The Nor'easters split the two-game series between the clubs last year, winning the second to last game of the season 3-1 which played a big role in helping Ocean City qualify for the postseason. Ryan Howe, who moved on to play for Saint Louis FC in the USL, tied the single-game club record by dishing out three assists.
The Nor'easters are led by Ignacio Tellechea (West Virginia Tech / Madrid, Spain) who has a team-high three goals. One of those goals has been nominated for the PDL Goal of the Month (VOTE HERE!). Tellechea and Nikola Fimic (Oklahoma Wesleyan / Novi Sad, Serbia) are both ranked highly on the PDL's Top 50 Prospects list (Fimic is No. 9, Tellechea is No. 20).
Todd Morton (Delaware / West Chester, PA) is expected to get his second straight start in goal for Ocean City. Morton played an excellent game in his Nor'easters debut at Reading. The Delaware Blue Hen made some impressive 1-v-1 stops and only allowed one goal, which was deflected off a defender and gave him no chance.
The Express have been one of the top teams in the PDL since joining the league as the Newark Ironbound Express in 2008. They have qualified for the PDL playoffs in six of their nine seasons in the league, including a run to the PDL Semifinals in 2014. However, the Express are off to a tough start to the 2017 campaign with a 1-3-0 record.
"The squad is in good health and have been very positive in training this week," said Nor'easters head coach John Thompson. "If we bring that energy and spark to the match against Jersey Express and get about our business we will stand a chance. Jersey Express are always stronger at home so we will need to be at our best."
After starting the season off on a positive note with a 2-0 home win over FA Euro New York, the Express have dropped three straight road games. They lost to the Red Bulls U23s, 2-0, Lehigh Valley United, 3-1, and Evergreen FC, 3-1.