UPDATE: Ocean City Nor'eastets defeated the D.C. United U23s 3-0. Read the full match report here.
UPDATE: Ocean City Nor'easters defeated the Baltimore Bohemians 3-0 to open the 2016 PDL season. Marcelo Petit, Chevy Walsh and Miguel Jaime scored the goals for the Nor'easters, while Logan Ketterer picked up the clean sheet.
By Sal Nicosia
The Ocean City Nor'easters are set to kick off the 2016 Premier Development League (PDL) season in style this weekend.
It all begins on Saturday, May 21 when they welcome Major League Soccer's D.C. United as they will field their Under-23 team in an exhibition game at Carey Stadium in Ocean City, NJ.
The U-23 squad, while consisting of mostly senior academy members, is a talented group of youth players and can often include MLS players who are looking to return to form or seeking more time on the pitch. This matchup won't be the first time the Nor’easters will face off against the U-23’s from D.C. Last year, the two teams split the season series with the home team winning each game. United won the season opener on their home turf 3-1 on May 23, while the Nor'easters got revenge with a 2-1 home win on July 12.
The Nor'easters have also played against the D.C. United senior side in a real competition. During the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Nor'easters (then known as the Ocean City Barons) traveled down to Boyds, Md. and played against the MLS side. Ocean City lost a narrow 2-0 decision that day after United scored on a penalty kick and a goal in the final minutes.
While the match on Saturday is only a friendly, it's an opportunity for the Ocean City players to get valuable experience against an elite-level team before their first official PDL match of the season. The PDL season will commence for the Nor’easters the following day, on May 22, in a road game against the Baltimore Bohemians at Cedar Lane Park in Bel Air, Md. This will be the third game for the Bohemians after completing a 3-1 season opening win on the road against Evergreen FC and they are scheduled to play Evergreen again at home on Friday, May 20.
For the Bohemians, players to watch include Jamie Merriam and Joshua Fawole who both opened their PDL goal accounts against Evergreen on opening day. For the Nor’easters, intrasquad man of the match Marcelo Petit, as well as Fraser Colmer are two players to keep an eye out for in this first matchup. Fraser Colmer had a full 90 minute appearance in the match, while his side did fall, the midfielder had an outstanding individual performance and has showed quality and talent early on. Petit, the Paraguay native also had a goal in the Blue and Orange match and has shown dominance in the forward position even in his short time on the field this year.
The Nor'easters will carry over a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) into the new campaign as head coach Tim Oswald looks to creep closer to the club's all-time coaching wins record of 53. Oswald, who is entering his fifth season with the club, already has the PDL coaching wins franchise record with 38.
The last time these two sides faced off was in June of 2015 where the Nor’easters came away victorious on a 3-1 scoreline. As seasons shift and new players enter, each squad can look forward to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic match and ensuing season as both clubs look to be in contention for a PDL title.
The Nor'easters feature another talented roster this year, including 10 new players that feature college All-Americans and youth internationals, seven players with PDL experience, and another excellent group of goalkeepers.
The Nor’easters will enter the weekend having completed their inaugural Blue and Orange match the previous weekend which allowed players to showcase their talents in an intrasquad match which took place May 14. After this weekend, they will play another road game against the Jersey Express, a team that recently advanced to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They will play them in Long Branch, NJ on Wednesday, May 25.
As part of the event, the Nor’easters is partnering with Athletes C.A.R.E., a non-profit organization established by Nor'easters alum, Alec Golini. Athletes C.A.R.E. and the Nor’easters will offer a free youth soccer clinic. Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 13 are invited to join players from the Ocean City Nor'Easters and D.C. United to learn some tips and tricks, play and compete, and just have some fun, all for a good cause! Instead of paying to participate in the clinic, we kindly ask that participants bring canned food/non-perishable items or make on-site monetary donations, all of which will be donated to the Food Bank of South Jersey! All registered players will receive a complimentary ticket to the game.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Ocean City and the D.C. United senior team have faced off before in a competitive match during the 2009 U.S. Open Cup, when the Nor'easters -- then named the Ocean City Barons -- lost a close 2-0 decision to United at the Maryland Soccerplex.
Ocean City fell just short of qualifying for the 2016 US Open Cup and are hoping to get back in for 2017 tournament. These friendlies are a good way to prepare players for playing against professionals and to get noticed by professional scouts and coaches and taking their game to the next level. The Nor’easters have played against MLS teams in the US Open Cup twice, D.C. United in 2009, and the Philadelphia Union in 2013 with both being very competitive games decided late in the second half. Ocean City remains one of three active PDL teams (Michigan Bucks, Des Moines Menace) who have advanced far enough to play against MLS teams more than once.
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For group tickets, email email@example.com, or call the ticket office at (609) 736-4849.
For more information on the Ocean City Nor'easters or to "Follow the Storm" on social media, go to www.oceancityfc.com/followthestorm or text "FOLLOWTHESTORM" to 22828 to join the "Storm Watch" e-newsletter.
The Ocean City Nor’easters is a professionally run amateur soccer club with the focus of developing, educating and promoting soccer, health and leadership. Located in Ocean City, New Jersey, “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, the Nor’easters provide quality entertainment to families throughout the Tri-State area and the thousands of visitors every summer.
The Nor’easters organization was established in 1996 and made Carey Stadium, in Ocean City, NJ, its permanent home in 2005. Competing in North America’s top amateur league, the Premier Development League (PDL), the Nor’easters provide the highest level of soccer in Southern New Jersey. The 65-team PDL is the 4th level of soccer in the United States, below the professional leagues; Major League Soccer (MLS), North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer League (USL). As part of the PDL, the Nor’easters’ have the sixth-best overall record since joining the league in 2003 and have upset five professional teams in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, third-most of any amateur team in the country. Ocean City players have the ability to compete during the summer months in a professional environment while maintaining their collegiate eligibility and pursuing their academic goals.