Ocean City goes for fourth straight win as they try to keep USL League Two playoff hopes alive
The Ocean City Nor'easters are in the heart of the home stretch of the 2019 USL League Two season. Tonight, the Nor'easters will hit the road for the final time this regular season when they travel to Leesburg, Va. to take on Evergreen FC. Anything short of a win will put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
The game will be played at the Evergreen Sportsplex with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. It is unclear if there will be a live video stream available. If there is, there will be a link provided on the Nor'easters' Twitter account (@OCNoreasters) where fans can also find in-game updates.
On Sunday, the Nor'easters defeated the Cedar Stars Rush 2-1 to earn their third straight win and extended their unbeaten streak to four games. Entering Wednesday night's game, Ocean City is 5-3-3 and are in third place in the Mid-Atlantic Division. After Long Island drew 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls Under-23s on Tuesday night, the Nor'easters are just two points behind the Rough Riders. However, the main focus is on teams outside the division.
For the Eastern Conference playoffs, the winner of the Mid-Atlantic Division (firmly held by first place Reading United AC), and the best second place team of all of the three divisions, will advance to the USL League Two playoffs.
Here are the current standings after games from Tuesday, July 2:
|EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD STANDINGS|
|GPS Portland Phoenix
|7-2-2||23||7/5 - @ Manhattan SC (5-3-0)
7/6 - @ Westchester Flames (3-5-3)
7/13 - home vs. Boston Bolts (4-6-2)
|Long Island Rough Riders
|5-1-5||20||7/6 - home vs. Evergreen FC (0-8-3)
7/12 - @ Cedar Stars Rush (4-4-3)
7/14 - @ Ocean City Nor'easters (5-3-3)
|North Carolina FC U-23s
(South Atlantic Division)
|6-5-0||18||7/3 - @ Wake FC (3-5-3)
7/6 - @ Tobacco Road FC (3-7-1)
7/10 - North Carolina Fusion U-23s (6-3-2)
|Ocean City Nor'easters
|5-3-3||18||7/3 - home vs. Evergreen FC (0-8-3)
7/7 - home vs. Reading United AC (8-0-3)
7/12 - home vs. L.I. Rough Riders (5-1-4)
Including tonight, there are three regular season games remaining and winning all three would assure them a second place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Division, but that wouldn't be enough to punch their ticket to the USL League Two playoffs. Ocean City getting into the postseason requires GPS Portland Phoenix to slip up in their final three games. And even if the Phoenix drop points down the stretch, the South Atlantic Division's North Carolina FC Under-23s will also need to drop points, otherwise, it will come down to tiebreakers.
The four-game unbeaten streak for the Nor'easters has been led by a pair of attacking players. In the last three games, the team has scored nine goals and all nine of them have been scored by either Deri Corfe (Wright State / Chester, England) or Claudio Repetto (Coastal Carolina / Genova, Italy). Corfe has scored five goals and dished out two assists, while Repetto has added four goals and two assists. Corfe leads the team with nine goals on the season, which ranks second among all players in USL League Two. Repetto is second on the team with five goals and his three assists is tied with Corfe and Brandon Smalley (Florida Tech / Bridlington, England) for the team lead.
Evergreen FC enters Evergreen FC enters the game seeking their first win of the 2019 season. The Hammers are 0-8-3 and Wednesday's game will be the fifth of five straight home games for EFC.
The Nor'easters have been playing against Evergreen FC since their days as the Northern Virginia Royals. The Nor'easters first met them (as the Royals) in 2004, and despite the Royals being a pro team, Ocean City defeated them, 3-1. From that day, the Nor'easters began their all-time unbeaten streak against Evergreen FC which is currently at 15 games (14-0-1). Last year, the Nor'easters swept the two-game season series with a pair of shutouts to extend that streak.
Earlier this season, back on June 1, the Nor'easters defeated the Evergreen FC in the club's home opener by the score of 2-1. Corfe opened the scoring in the first half only to have the Hammers equalize minutes later with a penalty kick. Ilias Kosmidis (High Point / Thessaloniki, Greece) came to the rescue in the 85th minute to score the game-winner to give Ocean City a fourth straight home opening victory.