Nor'easters face 'must-win' game Wednesday vs. Ironbound Express

Anything less than a win and OC is out of US Open Cup contention

The Nor’easters blew a 2-0 lead against the Hampton Roads Piranhas in the home opener last Saturday and ended up in a 2-2 draw. Now, heading into Wednesday’s game against the unbeaten Ironbound Express (3-0-0), anything less than a win will eliminate Ocean City from US Open Cup contention and will put the Express in prime position to qualify for the first time in their brief history.

Ocean City Nor'easters
(0-0-1)
at
Ironbound Express
(3-0-0)
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Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
qualifying standings
For the third year in a row, Ocean City FC has put themselves in a must-win situation for the second game of the season. The first four games of the campaign double as qualifying games for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and history tells us that anything less than 3 victories in the first four games will usually not get the job done as the tournament accepts the top team in the Mid-Atlantic Division.

The Nor’easters blew a 2-0 lead against the Hampton Roads Piranhas in the home opener last Saturday and ended up in a 2-2 draw. Now, heading into Wednesday’s game against the unbeaten Ironbound Express (3-0-0), anything less than a win will eliminate Ocean City from Open Cup contention and will put the Express in prime position to qualify for the first time in their brief history.

"It seems crazy that we go into just the second game of the season and find ourselves in a must-win situation," said head coach Neil Holloway. "But with Ironbound having a great start to the season, and with our draw in the home opener, that’s the situation we’re in."

The game will be played at Lubetkin Field on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and you can follow updates of the match on Ocean City FC’s twitter account at @oceancityfc. To view the US Open Cup qualifying standings, click here.
2010 US Open Cup qualifying standings        
Mid-Atlantic Division GP W L T PTS  
Ironbound Express 3 3 0 0 9  
Reading United AC 2 2 0 0 6  
New Jersey Rangers 2 1 1 0 3  
OCEAN CITY NOR’EASTERS 1 0 0 1 1  
Carolina Dynamo 1 0 0 1 1  
y-Central Jersey Spartans 2 0 1 1 1  
y-Hampton Roads Piranhas 2 0 1 1 1  
Northern Virginia Royals 1 0 1 0 0  
y-West Virginia Chaos 2 0 2 0 0  
y- eliminated | Top team qualifies for Open Cup    


Ironbound Express have been outstanding in their first three games, with wins over the West Virginia Chaos, Central Jersey Spartans and the New Jersey Rangers. They have yet to allow a goal this year and their six goals scored have come from six different players. They are led by Jerrod Laventure, a Haitian international who spent some time playing for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. He has scored 18 goals in the last two years playing for the PDL club.

The Nor’easters have some Jeckyl & Hyde results when it comes to their rivals from North Jersey. In the Express’ first season in the PDL, Ocean City failed to defeat them in three regular season games (0-1-2) with a pair of 1-1 draws and a 4-0 loss. Last year was a completely different story as they dominated the Express, defeating them 7-1 in Newark on May 31 and then 5-1 at the Beach House on July 2. Ryan Richter (LaSalle / Southampton, PA) and Kyle Miller (Holy Cross / Woodbury, NJ) each scored a pair of goals while JT Noone (Temple / Harrisburg, PA), Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ) and Billy Pinto (Hofstra / Audobon, NJ) accounted for the rest. In the second game, Carmichael scored his first career hat trick, while Junior Chapman (LaSalle / Ocean City, NJ) and Neal Melchionni (Lehigh / Marmora, NJ) scored the other two.
 
Last year’s All-Conference goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA) will return to the club after finishing up his final exams at Boston College. The club has a history of rebounding after the first game of the season. Since joining the PDL, they have only lost the second game of the season once (2005, 1-0 vs. Albany). and have a 4-1-2 record in those games. 

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