Both teams enter Sunday night's game undefeated and neither team has allowed a goal
The Ocean City Nor'easters will host West Chester United on Sunday night in the club's 24th home opener.
Both teams enter the game undefeated on the young USL League Two season. The Nor'easters (2-0-0) and West Chester United (3-0-1) not only haven't lost a game, but neither team has allowed a goal.
For the 16th year in a row, the Nor'easters home opener will be played under the shadow of the ferris wheel, right off the boardwalk at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") in Ocean City, N.J., America's Greatest Family Resort.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance on the Nor'easters website, and at the Carey Stadium gate with cash or with a smartphone. Soccer coaches of all levels and players from the South Jersey Elite Barons and New Jersey Surf all get in free.
The Nor'easters will be following the state's COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of everyone attending Sunday's game and throughout the entire season. The state of New Jersey does not have a capacity limit for venues like Carey Stadium at this time, and fans are not required to wear masks in an outdoor setting, but anyone who is not vaccinated is encouraged to wear a mask in any indoor setting such as bathrooms. For more information on the New Jersey Department of Health's guidance, please click HERE.
The Nor'easters have played just two games, but have already made history under first-year head coach Alan McCann. After a 3-0 road win over Real Central New Jersey to kick off the season, the Storm cruised to a 7-0 road win over Lehigh Valley United. It was the first time in the club's 24-season history that the Nor'easters had scored more than nine goals in the first two games and the first time Ocean City started a season with back-to-back shutout victories. It also broke the club record for the most lopsided road win.
With 10 goals in two games, the Nor'easters have had plenty of players getting involved in the offense. The player that has stood out so far has been Bakary Bagayoko (Cumberland Univ. / Bronx, NY) was scored two of the team's three goals in the season opening win over RCNJ, and followed that up with a pair of assists in 7-0 win over Lehigh Valley. His college teammate Tyler Watson (Cumberland Univ. / Simi Valley, CA) has also been a force with two goals and an assist. Simon Becher (St. Louis Univ. / Brooklyn, CT) added his name to the Nor'easters record books as the 12th player in the club's USL2 history to score a hat trick when he came off the bench and scored all three goals in a 10-minute span. It is one of the fastest hat tricks in club history. Theo Quartey (Villanova / Accra, Ghana) has also been creating offense out of the midfield, leading the team with three assists.
The Storm's defense has been solid no matter which goalkeeper has been in net. UConn's all-conference netminder Jahmali Waite (UConn / Philadelphia, PA) only had to make three saves in the season opening win over RCNJ. Yannik Oettl (UCF / Munich, Germany), the reigning 3-time American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, made just two stops in the win over LVU on Wednesday. The Ocean City backline has started to gel early with three defenders starting and playing all 180 minutes so far: Kasper Skraep (Coastal Carolina / Nyborg, Denmark), Neville Morgan (Lindsey Wilson College / Westmoreland, Jamaica), and Nicholas Akoto (Tennessee Wesleyan / London, England).
An Ocean City win on Sunday night would give the club a 3-0-0 start to a season for just the fourth time in history (2007, 2013, 2017)
West Chester United, which was founded in 1976, has quickly become one of the top amateur clubs in the region since their first season of their adult soccer program in 2008. They have racked up a long list of accomplishments including four straight United Soccer League of Pennsylvania titles (2015-19), 11 State EPSA titles (since 2013), the 2015 Werner Fricker Open Cup championship, and finishing as the 2018 USASA Amateur Cup runner-up.
West Chester has teams that compete in a variety of leagues such as the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania, and the NPSL. They had qualified (as a member of the NPSL) for the 2020 US Open Cup, but the tournament was canceled for the first time in its 106-year history. It would have been the club's third appearance in the national tournament.
This will be the first meeting between the two clubs in league play but they have met once before. On July 2, 2018, West Chester United visited the Beach House with the Nor'easters coming out on top, 1-0 on a late goal by Abdul Mansaray. Jimmy Slayton and Gus Valeriano shared the shutout in goal that day.
This will the first road game of the season for United. They defeated Philadelphia Lone Star FC (1-0) and Lehigh Valley United (5-0) before a scoreless draw with Real Central New Jersey. In their last game last Wednesday, they earned their fourth straight clean sheet with a 2-0 win over last year's USL League Two runner-up Reading United AC. With eight goals scored and none allowed, their main offensive weapon has been Troy Amspacher who has scored three goals and has one assist in three games, including two game-winners. Amspacher is a former star player for Lock Haven University.
WCU also features a couple familiar faces to Ocean City fans with former Nor'easters Joey Bhangdia (2019) and Leon Maric (2019). Maric scored the game-winning goal in the Predators' win over Reading United.
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