Ocean City and Reading first met back in 1997 as professional teams
The Ocean City Nor'easters (5-3-4) and Reading United AC (8-0-3) will face off for the 50th time on Sunday night as one of modern American soccer's oldest rivalries adds another chapter to the story at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") in Ocean City, N.J.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
There will not be a live video stream available. Fans unable to make it out to the Beach House can follow live updates on the Nor'easters Twitter account @OCNoreasters.
With GPS Portland Phoenix edging the Westchester Flames 5-4 on Saturday night, the Nor'easters were mathematically eliminated from USL League Two playoff contention. The best case scenario for the Storm was winning their final two homes games, but even if that was to happen, they would fall at least one point short of the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Mid-Atlantic Division champion and the top second place team in the Eastern Conference. Here are the standings entering Sunday:
|EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD STANDINGS|
|GPS Portland Phoenix
|8-3-2||26||7/13 - home vs. Boston Bolts (4-6-2)|
|North Carolina FC U-23s
(South Atlantic Division)
|7-6-0||21||7/10 - North Carolina Fusion U-23s (6-3-2)|
|Long Island Rough Riders
|5-1-6||21||7/12 - @ Cedar Stars Rush (4-4-3)
7/14 - @ Ocean City Nor'easters (5-3-4)
|Ocean City Nor'easters
|5-3-4||19||7/7 - home vs. Reading United AC (8-0-3)
7/12 - home vs. L.I. Rough Riders (5-1-6)
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 49 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. Last year, Reading swept the three-game season series as United overtook the lead in the all-time series.
When the two teams met in Reading on June 15, United won 2-0 on goals by the team's leading scorer Simon Becher and Felipe Sakamoto. Reading enter Sunday's match leading the all-time series 22-20-7.
The Nor'easters are led by their top two leading scorers who have been on a hot streak the last couple weeks. Deri Corfe (Wright State / Chester, England), who was recently named to the USL League Two Team of the Week after scoring three goals and dishing out two assists in two wins last week, is leading the Nor'easters in scoring. His nine goals ranks second in the league, and his three assists is tied for the team lead. One of his top targets has been Claudio Repetto (Coastal Carolina / Genova, Italy), who enters Sunday's game riding a four-game goalscoring streak (six goals in four games). Repetto scored a pair of penalty kicks, including a 90th minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw against Evergreen FC last Wednesday in the club's final road game of the season. Repetto is second on the team with seven goals and is tied with Corfe and Brandon Smalley (Florida Tech / Bridlington, England) with three assists.
For Ocean City, Sunday's game is a chance to hand Reading their first loss of the season and add another win to this long-standing rivalry.
For Reading, it's a chance to continue their quest for an undefeated regular season and to lock up the Mid-Atlantic Division. United would clinch the division and USL League Two playoff spot with a win or a draw.