Game will be streamed on Facebook as Ocean City fights to keep hold of playoff position
Ocean City Nor’easters will go on the road this Saturday to play Evergreen FC and complete the season series between the two teams.
The game will be played at Evergreen Sportsplex in Leesburg, Va. with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
Ocean City swept the three-game season series last year, outscoring Evergreen 12-2. The Nor'easters have never lost to the Hammers, a team that was formerly known as the Northern Virginia Royals. The Storm lead the all-time series, that dates back to 2004, 10-0-1.
The Nor'easters are coming off a hard fought 2-1 road loss to Lehigh Valley United this past Wednesday. Despite a late goal from Fredlin "Fredinho" Mompremier (Limbe, Haiti / Farleigh Dickinson), two early first half goals from Leigh too much for the Nor'easters to overcome.
For Nor'easters head coach John Thompson, the challenge is now to not fall behind early in games to stay in contention.
“We had a few scoring opportunities in the first half that we need to put away early and establish a lead that we can defend,” said Thompson about Wednesday's game. “We have now been in too many situations where we are chasing the game.”
The Nor'easters (5-3-0) are currently in second place in the Mid-Atlantic Division standings, six points behind the first-place New York Red Bulls U23s (7-0-0). The top two teams in the division qualify for the playoffs and Ocean City has rival Reading United three points behind them with three games in hand. Reading and the Red Bulls play each other on Saturday night.
The Storm will face Evergreen FC on Saturday night, a team with a 1-5-1 record that currently in fifth place in the Mid-Atlantic Division. The Hammers are coming off a 2-0 loss to Leigh Valley this past Saturday. Lewis Long is the team's leading scorer with three goals so far this season. Goalkeeper William Bush is their saves leader with 13, while the team’s other goalkeeper Sean Connely leads with a 1.50 GAA.
With his goal against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, Fredinho has overtaken Tellechea as Ocean City's top scorer. He now has four goals and one assist (nine points), compared with Tellechea's four goals (eight points). Ismael Noumansana (Lenoir-Rhyne / Bamako, Mali) is the team leader in assists with three, to go along with a pair of goals.
Defender Nikola Fimic (Oklahoma Wesleyan / Novi Sad, Serbia) is just behind Noumansana with two assists, both of which he picked up in last Sunday's 4-1 home win over Jersey Express. Fimic, who is ranked No. 17 in the PDL's Top Prospects list, was named to the league's Team of the Week. Also, Fimic and Colmer have played every minute of every game for the Storm this year and are both tied for fourth in the PDL in minutes played (720).
The Nor'easters (5-3-0) have already beaten Evergreen twice this season with both wins coming on the opening weekend of the season. The first win was in the season opener on May 19 when Ignacio Tellechea (UC Santa Barbara / Madrid, Spain) scored a pair of goals in a convincing 4-1 win. The second win occurred when Ocean City fell behind 2-0 and then scored three goals in the final six minutes to complete a famous comeback. Fraser Colmer's (Radford / Southampton, England) strike from distance won the game in stoppage time, 3-2.
For Thompson, the two wins are different games and are in the past.
“Every game is different, individually and collectively we need to be at our best in every game we play,” he stated “You can never be complacent or look backward, always thinking and preparing for your next match.”
Fans unable to make it to the game can follow live updates on the Ocean City Nor'easters Twitter account and also watch the game live on Evergreen FC's Facebook page.