Ocean City looks to add to winning streak, avenge last year's loss
The Ocean City Nor'easters will try to keep their win streak alive and avenge a tough loss from a year ago on Thursday night when they travel north to take on Lehigh Valley United.
The game was originally scheduled for May 23 but had to be moved when the Nor'easters advanced to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Tonight's kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at JBC Stadium in Allentown, Pa.
There will not be a live stream available for the match, so follow the live updates as they happen on the Ocean City Nor'easters Twitter account.
The Nor'easters have won their last two games and are looking to stay in contention for the Mid-Atlantic Division title. They defeated Evergreen FC 1-0 last Saturday thanks to a solid performance by a trio of players from the University of North Carolina. Alex Rose (North Carolina / Cary, NC) scored the lone goal in the first half and center back Sam Jones (North Carolina / Cardiff, Wales) helped Alec Smir (North Carolina / Greesboro, NC) earn his second shutout in all competitions.
Ocean City enters the game with a 3-2-0 record and can pull into a tie for second place with a win.
Lehigh Valley (1-5-0) has struggled this year with just one win in their first six games of the season. In their last outing on Tuesday, they lost to division leaders Reading United AC 3-0 on the road.
Exactly one year ago today, Ocean City suffered their first-ever loss to United. In fact, it was very much the same situation. The Storm came in riding a two-game winning streak and were looking to keep pace with Reading United AC and the New York Red Bulls U-23s in the Mid-Atlantic Division standings. United scored two goals early in the second half (one by former Ocean City player Seiji Rose) and despite a late goal by Fredlin "Fredinho" Mompremier, the Nor'easters were unable to find the equalizer.
After that loss on the road, Ocean City got their revenge in the regular season finale on July 12 at the Beach House, beating United 5-0. The win was important because it would ultimately prove to be the win that would clinch the Nor'eaters a spot in the 2018 US Open Cup.
Ocean City and Lehigh Valley have played each other twice in each of the last three seasons and the Nor'easters lead the all-time series 5-1-0. They have outscored them in those six matches 22-5. Thursday's game is the first of three meetings between the two clubs this year (Two at Lehigh Valley, One at Ocean City).
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 last year as they participate in one of the toughest divisions in the PDL. The club joined the PDL after five years in the National Premier Soccer League where they were league champions in 2012 and made the playoffs in four of the five seasons, including two appearances in the national final four.