Preview: Nor'easters travel north to renew rivalry with Reading United on Saturday

Oldest active rivalry in the USL adds another chapter on Saturday night in Reading, PA

Preview: Nor'easters travel north to renew rivalry with Reading United on Saturday

The oldest active rivalry in the United Soccer Leagues adds another chapter on Saturday night in Reading, Pa.

The Ocean City Nor'easters will take their undefeated record (2-0-1) north to face Reading United AC, who is also undefeated (2-0-3) in what will be the 53rd all-time meeting between the two clubs in a rivalry that dates back to 1997. 

Saturday night's game will kick off at 7 p.m. at Alvernia University. There will not be a live video stream available, but fans can follow updates on the Nor'easters' Twitter account @OCNoreasters.

The all-time series between Ocean City and Reading is even at 22-22-8, but the Nor'easters are unbeaten in the last three meetings (2-0-1), having outscored United 9-3 in those three games. No pair of teams in the USL Championship, USL League One or USL League Two have an active rivalry that is older than Reading and Ocean City.

The Nor'easters also enter Saturday night's game riding an eight-game road unbeaten streak dating back to 2019, the second-longest streak in club history.

Last year, the two teams finishing in a scoreless draw in Ocean City, with (current Pittsburgh Riverhounds goalkeeper) Jahmali Waite earning the shutout for the home team. When the two teams met on July 6, it was a one-sided win for the Storm, 5-2. Five different OCN players scored that day: Anthony Herbert, Kyle Galloway, Simon Becher, Austin DaSilva, and MD Myers. With the win, the Nor'easters clinched a playoff berth and earned their first road win over Reading since the 2016 Eastern Conference championship game. 

The Nor'easters enter Saturday night's game undefeated with a 2-0-1 record and will look to carry the momentum from a dramatic pair of wins over Memorial Day weekend. The Storm hosted the club's 25th home opener at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") last Friday where they beat the Philadelphia Lone Star FC, 2-1. Then they followed that up with another 2-1 home win, this time over West Chester United, the team that eliminated them in the playoffs last season. Nicolas Cam Orellana (Keiser Univ. / Santiago, Chile) was the hero as he scored the game-winning goal deep into second half stoppage time. The goal, scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time, was assisted by his brother Benjamin Cam Orellana (Univ. of Rio Grande / Santiago, Chile), which marks the first time in Nor'easters club history that two brothers connected on a goal.

Another source of offense this season has been Ocean City's leading scorer Alessandro Arlotti (Harvard / San Remo, Italy) who is the first player in Nor'easters club history to score a goal in each of the first three games.

Reading United are out to prove that 2021 was a fluke. Last season, the year after reaching the USL League Two championship game for the second year in a row, Reading had one of their worst seasons since joining the league in 2004. They finished with a 4-7-3 record and missed the playoffs, finishing in 5th place.

So far, they are undefeated, but have only earned two wins in their first five games (2-0-3). However, that first win was a big one. They beat West Chester United, the defending Mid-Atlantic Division champions 3-1 on the road back on May 18. After two straight draws at Philadelphia Lone Star and Real Central New Jersey, they got back to their winning ways with a 4-1 home win over Lehigh Valley United on Wednesday, June 1. They received second half goals from Talla Faye, Isak Sedin, Kaelan Debbage, and Isaac Hollingerey to earn a second win and move into second place in the Mid-Atlantic Division.

The winner of Saturday's game between Reading and Ocean City will move into first place in the division (Ocean City would be tied with West Chester United with a win, Reading would move alone into first place). A draw would put Reading into a tie with West Chester for the top spot.

Ocean City Nor'easters Club Shop

Ocean City Nor'easters Club Shop

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