Photo: Courtesy of Ocean City Nor’easters
Reading United return to Albright College’s Shirk Stadium on Friday evening at 7pm knowing only a win against Mid-Atlantic Division leaders Ocean City FC will be good enough to keep hopes of a home playoff game alive. Ocean City know any result against United will secure the Mid-Atlantic Division crown. Playoff positions aren’t the only thing to be settled in Reading as the PDL’s top two goal scorers take aim at the league’s Golden Boot.
Reading United: 9 – 2 – 3 (3rd place in the Mid-Atlantic Division)
Ocean City FC: 12 - 2 - 0 (1st place in the Mid-Atlantic Division)
Reading United enter Friday’s match unbeaten in their last five matches thanks in large part to the red hot form of the PDL’s leading scorer, Deshorn Brown. Brown helped United rescue an important point on the road against the Jersey Express Wednesday night. The Reading forward scored a second half equalizer, his 13th of the season, to earn United a 1-1 draw in Newark, NJ. Brown has now scored eight goals in the last four matches for Reading United and earned Philly Soccer Page Player of the Week honors.
The draw allowed United to stay level with the Express, with both teams sitting on 30 points. United have a game in hand and need four points from their final two matches to earn a home playoff date. United can still win the Mid-Atlantic Division title if they win out and Ocean City fails to pick up any more points.
In their first meeting of the season on June 8, Reading United took a trip down to the shore and beat Ocean City by a 2-1 scoreline thanks to goals from Brown and Olutolani Ibikunle. That was Ocean City’s last setback as they’ve cruised through the 2012 regular season.
In the department of you can never have too many Farfans, Luis Farfan has joined the Reading United roster. The younger brother of Michael and Gabe Farfan was an unused substitute in United’s match Wednesday evening.
Ocean City come to Reading riding an eight match winning streak and with one hand on the Mid-Atlantic Division crown. Ocean City’s 36 point haul through 14 PDL matches is only surpassed by the Michigan Bucks. The Nor’Easters are led by in form Mount St. Mary’s forward Zoncher Dennis. The former All-Delco forward from Springfield, PA has scored six goals in the last five matches to up his total to 11 goals. With 11 goals, Dennis ranks second in goals scored in the PDL behind only Reading’s Brown. LaSalle University goalkeeper John McCarthy has recorded nine wins, four clean sheets and a 0.666 goals against average for Ocean City this summer.
2011 Season head-to-head results
May 20: Reading United 4 – 1 Ocean City FC (at Oley Valley High School)
July 10: Ocean City 1 – 4 Reading United (at Ocean City’s Carey Field)
In their first meeting of 2011, Reading United overcame a sluggish first half and put four past Ocean City keeper Patrick Hannigan in the second half. Will Bates scored a brace while his Virgina teammate Brian Ownby had a goal and an assist. Stephen Okai scored Reading’s final goal of the night. Jack Bailey scored a 69th minute consolation goal for the Nor’Easters.
Ocean City fared no better in the return leg at Carey Stadium. United routed Ocean City with three second half goals, courtesy of Penn product Christian Barreiro’s brace and a late goal from Princeton’s Matt Sanner.