No US Open Cup run this year as Nor'easters fall in Newark

Ironbound Express beat Nor'easters 3-0, finish qualifying 4-0

Ocean City FC Lineup School / Hometown
GK - Tunde Ogunbiyi Boston College / Gwynedd, PA
DEF - Kevin Strunk Lehigh / Downingtown, PA
DEF - Kevin Curran Loyola / Upper Township, NJ
DEF - Matt Griffin Robert Morris / Bethel Park, PA
DEF - John Fletcher Eckerd College (’08) / Uxbridge, ENG
MID - Neal Melchionni Lehigh / Marmora, NJ
MID - Max Hamilton Monmouth / Medford, NJ
MID - Ryan Richter LaSalle / Southampton, PA
MID - William Swetra James Madison (’10) / Egg Harbor, NJ
FWD - Alex Weidman Monmouth / Linwood, NJ
FWD - Terry Gibbs Bloomfield College / London, ENG
Byron Carmichael Marshall (’03) / Lumberton, NJ
Dwayne Dove Vermont / Turnersville, NJ
Dan Braun Robert Morris / Pittsburgh, PA
Dan Korenyi LaSalle / Cinneminson, NJ
Giancarlo Granese Hofstra / Ocean City, NJ
Sal Pistone Stockton College / Blackwood, NJ
Scoring Summary
32nd (IRONBOUND) John Sallhag (Kevin Meyer)
45th+ (IRONBOUND) John Sallhag (Kevin Meyer)
66th (IRONBOUND) Jerrod Laventure (PK)



















The Ocean City Nor’easters hopes of returning to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup came crashing down two games into the season as they lost 3-0 to the Ironbound Express on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Express finish Open Cup qualifying with a perfect 4-0-0 record and since Ocean City has one point with two games to play, they cannot overtake their rivals to the north. 
Ocean City Nor’easters
Ironbound Express
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Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
qualifying standings

The perfect record does not assure the Express a spot in the tournament. While their win eliminates Ocean City, Northern Virginia Royals, Carolina Dynamo and the New Jersey Rangers, Reading United (2-0-0) can still match Ironbound’s 4-0-0 record if they win their next two matches.

"I felt like we dominated the first half, but [Ironbound] did a great job on the counter attack and caught us twice in the first half," said Nor’easters head coach Neil Holloway.

The hosts struck first in the 32nd minute when Express midfielder Kevin Meyer found space on the right wing and fired in a cross to the far post. John Sallhag found himself on the other end of that cross, volleying it past Ocean City goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA), who was making his 2010 debut.

The Nor’easters nearly tied it up before halftime when Kevin Curran (Loyola / Ocean View, NJ) played a through ball into Alex Weidman (Monmouth / Linwood, NJ) who dribbled in one-on-one with the Ironbound goalkeeper. Weidman, making his first PDL start, bent the ball around the keeper, but it struck the post and kept the visitors off the scoreboard.

The Express would strike back moments after Weidman hit the post as they raced up the right wing, and repeated the combination of the first goal. Meyer from the right wing found Sallhag in the box who volleyed the ball into the back of the net to double the lead.

At halftime, Ocean City made changes to their lineup, removing Weidman and Matt Griffin (Robert Morris / Bethel Park, PA) and adding two forwards, Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ) and Dwayne Dove (Vermont / Turnersville, NJ).

The change helped light a spark in the offense, but the hosts would add another in the 66th minute. Former New York Red Bulls player Jerrod Laventure was fouled in the box by Max Hamilton, leading the referee to point to the spot. Laventure converted the penalty kick to make it 3-0.

Ocean City’s best chance to pull one back came in the 75th minute when Curran’s cross from the wing found the head of Carmichael, but the club’s all-time leading scorer was denied his first goal of the year by the cross bar.

"Last year’s Open Cup run was definitely challenging, but the silver lining in this is that we can focus on winning the league," said Holloway.

The Express will wait to find out the result of Reading United’s next two games. If Reading fails to win at West Virginia on Thursday or at Carolina on Saturday, Ironbound will qualify for the Open Cup for the first time.

Next up for Ocean City, they will host the Northern Virginia Royals on Saturday, May 22 at Carey Stadium. Tickets are available at the gate for $6 for adults, $4 for kids and, as always, kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Nor’easters have won every game they’ve ever played against the Royals in their PDL history (3-0-0).