May 30th, 2015
By: Eric Klenofsky
The Nor’easters travel to Reading, Pennsylvania Saturday May 30th to match up with longtime rivals, Reading United A.C. at 7 p.m. in their Premier Development League home opener on the campus of Exeter High School at Don Thomas Stadium.
This weekend’s meeting between these two Mid-Atlantic Division heavy weights will be the first of the 2015 season. After two games, the Nor’easters currently sit in sixth place with three points. Following a disappointing PDL opener in Virginia at the D.C. United U23s, Ocean City bounced back on the road in Whippany, New Jersey against the New York Red Bulls U23s.
New York took the lead in the 41st minute by way of midfielder Steven Echevarria only to be equalized two minutes later by Ocean City striker John Manga’s second goal in as many games. The Nor’easters pulled in front just eight minutes into the second half courtesy of Ocean City striker Harry Swartz. The Red Bulls would push for the next 27 minutes in search of an equalizer until Nor’easters striker Matt Vasquenza found the insurance goal sealing the road win for Ocean City and New York’s first loss of the season.
“Coming off a big win versus the New York Red Bulls U23s, we have to stay grounded in our approach to the match with Reading,” said Ocean City Head Coach Tim Oswald. “We have to come out focused, committed to our cause tactically, and put in a full 90 minutes of hard work.”
The Nor’easters and Reading met for the first time in the history of these two organizations in the late 90’s, now over a decade later, the rivalry is stronger than ever. The record sits at 20-13-7 with Ocean City holding the advantage.
“The rivalry between Ocean City and Reading is one of the longest standing rivalries in the country, dating back to 1997,” said Ocean City Nor’easters General Manager Kevin Nuss. “Through the years there’s been a lot of close games and we recruit a lot of the same players. It’s two of the best PDL teams in the country competing in a very tight geographical area.”
The 2014 installment of the rivalry saw Reading come out on top. The Nor’easters fell 1-0 to Reading away in a tightly contested match which saw Reading striker Darius Madison serve as the difference maker. Following the initial meeting, Reading traveled to Carey Stadium and would come out with a 1-1 draw. Midfielder Gaeton Caltabiano of Reading broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute before Nor’easters striker Zoncher Dennis struck the top right corner from distance for one of Ocean City’s goals of the season bringing the score level in the 78th.
Reading currently sits in 3rd place with four points from their first two games in the 2015 PDL season. Following a 0-0 tie with Lehigh Valley United Sonic, Reading got their first win of the campaign, trampling the Baltimore Bohemians 4-0 at Bonvegna Field in Maryland.
“As a club and a coaching staff, we have a ton of respect for Reading,” said Oswald. “I can’t say enough positive things about them as an organization. With that being said, I know when the whistle blows, there is no better PDL rivalry in the country than the one we share. That’s what makes Saturday’s match that big and so special to both clubs, even this early in the season.”
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2015 Individual Match and Season ticket packages are on sale now. For more information, call (609) 432-8271 to speak with a Nor'easters ticket representative, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.oceancityfc.com/tickets for ticket package information.
Text "READING" to (609) 432-8271 to receive an exclusive promo code, for ticket purchases made online via www.oceancityfc.com/tickets.
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