Ocean City Nor'easters announce 2021 USL League Two schedule

Nor'easters' 24th home opener will be May 23 at the Beach House against West Chester United

Ocean City Nor'easters announce 2021 USL League Two schedule

USL League Two has released the league schedule and alignment for the 2021 season with the Ocean CIty Nor'easters taking part in the club's 24th season (the last 18 in USL League Two). 

The league will feature 82 teams across North America split into 12 divisions across four conferences with all teams playing a 14-game schedule. Play will return after the league canceled the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nor'easters will compete in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference for the 10th season in a row. Ocean City will kick off the 2021 season on May 12 on the road against expansion side Real Central New Jersey. The Nor'easters will kick off the 2021 home schedule on Sunday, May 23 with a match against another newcomer to the league, West Chester United.

The Nor'easters' home opener, and all home games, will take place at Carey Stadium, also known as "The Beach House", in "America's Greatest Family Resort" in Ocean City, N.J. Since 2003, the Nor'easters have the fourth-best home record (81-26-25) of any team in USL League Two.

"We're looking forward to getting everyone into the environment to put a group together that the Ocean City fans can be proud of and excited by," said first-year head coach Alan McCann. "The Mid-Atlantic Division is notoriously a tough one to compete in and with the addition of some quality new clubs, that is expected to continue. It allows us to get back into the scenario we want for players which is; an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities to the next level against good opposition consistently."

McCann, who has won the last two USL League Two Coach of the Year awards with Reading United, will begin his first year in charge of the Nor'easters. The Ireland native has assembled a talented staff in addition to the return of three former Ocean City head coaches (Tim Oswald, John Thompson, Neil Holloway) to form an outstanding front office staff.

The division will play a 14-game regular season schedule again this year. The Nor'easters will have just three returning teams from last year's schedule, including Northern Virginia FC (formerly known as Evergreen FC), Lehigh Valley United, and the defending Mid-Atlantic Division champion, and long-time rival, Reading United AC. There have been three expansion teams added to the division this year: Philadelphia Lone Star FC, Real Central New Jersey, and West Chester United.

Since there are only six opponents in the division this year, the Nor'easters will play an extra home and an extra road game against two different teams. They will play West Chester United and Philadelphia Lone Star FC three times each, with United visiting the Beach House twice, and Ocean City traveling to Philadelphia twice.

In 2019, last year, the Nor'easters finished with a 6-3-5 regular season record, which left them just short of qualifying for the league playoffs, while playing in one of the toughest divisions in the league. Offensively, they were led by one of the top scoring duos in the league in Claudio Repetto and Deri Corfe as they accounted for 22 of the team’s 27 goals with 14 of them coming from Corfe, who shared the USL League Two scoring title. He also tied the club’s single-season record for goals (14) and points (31). With his performance, Corfe became the third player in club history to be named the USL League Two MVP, and was an easy choice as the Nor’easters’ team MVP for the second year in a row. (Check out the 2019 Season Review).

Corfe helped the Nor'easters make history as they joined the Des Moines Menace as the only two clubs in history to have three players win the league's most valuable player award. The Nor'easters are the only team to have three different player win the MVP award (Tomas Boltnar of the Menace won the award twice).

The 2019 season added to the club's impressive resume that ranks them among the best USL League Two teams in North America. Since joining USL League Two in 2003, the Nor'easters are 145-68-49, which is the sixth-best record in the league. Despite joining the league in its ninth season, Ocean City's 145 wins ranks 7th in USL League Two history, which dates back to 1995.

Below is the complete 2021 schedule along with a profile of each opponent.

DATE TIME HOME   AWAY VENUE

Wed., May 12, 2021

7:00

Ocean City Noreasters
Real Central New Jersey

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

Mercer County Community College Soccer Stadium - Princeton Junction, NJ


Wed., May 19, 2021

7:30


Lehigh Valley United

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

Venue TBA


Sun., May 23, 2021 7:30


Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
West Chester United

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House")


Wed., June 2, 2021 7:00


Reading United AC

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

Don Thomas Stadium - Exeter, PA

Sat., June 5, 2021

7:00

Ocean City Noreasters
Northern Virginia FC

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

Evergreen Sportsplex - Leesburg, VA


Wed., June 9, 2021 6:00

Reading United AC
Philadelphia Lone Star FC

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

South Philadelphia Super Site - Philadelphia, PA


Sun., June 13, 2021 7:00


Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Northern Virginia FC

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House"


Wed., June 16, 2021 7:30

Ocean City Noreasters
West Chester United

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

Kildare's Turf Field - West Chester, PA


Wed., June 23, 2021 7:00

Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.

Reading United AC
Philadelphia Lone Star FC

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House")


Sun., June 27, 2021

7:00


Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.


Lehigh Valley United

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House")

Fri., July 2, 2021

7:00
Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
Real Central New Jersey

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House"


Tue., July 6, 2021 7:00 Ocean City Noreasters
Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.


Reading United AC
Carey Stadium
("The Beach House")

Fri., July 9, 2021 7:30
Ocean City Nor'easters

vs.

Ocean City Noreasters
West Chester United

Carey Stadium
("The Beach House")


Sun., July 11, 2021 7:00 Reading United AC
Philadelphia Lone Star FC

vs.


Ocean City Nor'easters

South Philadelphia Super Site - Philadelphia, PA


 
Lehigh Valley United Sonic Lehigh Valley United
2019: 4-7-3, 6th place in Mid-Atlantic Division


Lehigh Valley United had a really challenging first two years in the PDL. United won just a single game in 2015 and upped that total to three in 2016. They won four games in 2017, but the club took a step back in 2018 with just one win. In 2019, they took a step forward and won four games (and earned three draws) in one of the toughest divisions in the league.

The club joined USL League Two after five years in the National Premier Soccer League where they won the league championship in 2012 and made the playoffs in four of the five seasons, including two appearances in the national final four. In 2019, the two teams split the season series as Ocean City lost to Lehigh Valley for just the second time in club history, falling 2-0 on the road. The Storm bounced back with a 4-3 home win on June 28 to improve their all-time record against United 9-2-0.
   
Northern Virginia FC
2019: 0-8-6, 8th place in the Mid-Atlantic Division

The last time the Nor'easters played Northern Virginia FC was in 2019 when they were known as Evergreen FC. Ocean City has been playing NVFC since their days when they were known as the Northern Virginia Royals in the mid 2000s. The Nor'easters first met them (as the Royals) in 2004, and despite the Royals being a pro team, Ocean City defeated them, 3-1. From that day, the Nor'easters began their all-time unbeaten streak against Evergreen FC which is currently at 16 games (14-0-2). In 2019, after Ocean City beat the Hammers in the team's home opener at the Beach House on a late goal by Ilias Kosmidis, the Storm's unbeaten streak nearly came to an end. A little more than a month later, Claudio Repetto's 90th minute penalty kick denied Evergreen their first win over Ocean City, and saved a point (and the unbeaten streak) for the Nor'easters with a 2-2 draw.
   
Jersey Express Philadelphia Lone Star FC
Expansion Team


The Philadelphia Lone Star were supposed to join USL League Two as an expansion team in 2020, but the pandemic has pushed their debut until 2021. But this won't be the first time they have played against the Nor'easters. The first time they met was in the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup when Ocean City blanked Lone Star FC (back when they were under the name "Junior Lone Star FC"), 3-1 in the First Round of the tournament. The two teams met again toward the end of the 2019 season in an exhibition game when Lone Star were a member of the NPSL. The game finished in a 1-1 draw with Deri Corfe scoring the lone goal and Philadelphia's only tally was an Ocean City own goal.

Lone Star has been a club since 2001, playing in various Philadelphia area leagues before joining the NPSL where they remained until this past season.
   
Reading United AC Reading United AC
2019: 10-1-3, 1st place in Mid-Atlantic Division (USL-2 Runner-Up)


Reading United AC are the Nor'easters' oldest rivals. Reading joined the D-3 Pro League in 1996, the year before Ocean City launched. Since then, they have played exactly 50 times both as professional and USL League Two teams. After Reading swept both regular season meetings in 2016, the two met in the Eastern Conference championship game. It was the first time the two long-time rivals had met in a playoff game and it was Ocean City that pervailed, winning 4-1 on the road. It snapped a six-game winless streak against United and it was their first win at Reading in 10 years. In 2019, the two teams split the season series with the Nor'easters winning the 50th meeting at the Beach House, 4-1. Deri Corfe scored a hat trick that day which padded his USL League Two MVP resume on his way to sharing the league scoring title.
   
Real Central New Jersey
Expansion team


After a number of years without a team, "Central New Jersey" will be represented in USL League Two. Real Central New Jersey will begin its inaugural season in 2021 playing its home games at Mercer County Community College, a place that the Nor'easters called home temporarily during the 2003 season. "Real" joins a wave of new expansion teams in the Garden State. Along with 2021 expansion sides Morris County Elite, FC Motown, and New Jersey Copa FC, that brings the number of Garden State USL-2 clubs to seven (New York Red Bulls U-23s, Cedar Stars Rush). Only the state of Florida (8) has more USL-2 teams.
   
New York Red Bulls U23 West Chester United SC
Expansion Team


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.

These two teams 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.
   

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