The Ocean City Nor'easters won't even have to leave town this weekend as they try to advance in the Premier Development League playoffs.
The Nor'easters will host the United Soccer Leagues PDL Eastern Conference playoffs Saturday and Sunday in Ocean City.
The semifinals, at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, will be played at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex.
The Eastern Conference championship game will be 7 p.m. Sunday at Carey Stadium.
The Ottawa Fury (11-1-2 in the PDL) plays Reading United AC (8-1-5) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first semifinal. Ocean City (11-2-1 in the PDL) meets the Carolina Dynamo (9-2-3) at 5 p.m. in the second semifinal.
"It's a great accomplishment for our franchise to host the Eastern Conference playoffs," Nor'easters general manager Neil Holloway said. "Now, we just have to put on a good show.
"It's going to be a great event at Tennessee Avenue. You'll get to see the four best teams in the East."
The conference playoffs have three division champions and a wild-card team.
Ocean City, which is 13-3-1 overall, is the Mid-Atlantic Division champion. Carolina is the South Atlantic Division champion, and Ottawa is the Northeast Division winner. Reading had the same 8-1-5 record as the Baltimore Bohemians, its Mid-Atlantic rival, but beat Baltimore 3-1 on Tuesday in a play-in game.
The same four teams were in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year in Greensboro, N.C. Ocean City won the Mid-Atlantic title last year, but lost to Ottawa 1-0 in a conference semifinal. Carolina beat Ottawa 1-0 in the final.
"This is great opportunity for us in front of our fans," Ocean City coach Tim Oswald said. "It shows the consistency of those four teams for them all to be back. It's a great chance for us to get beyond last season. Our goal is to advance through the playoffs. We want to show some growth and get through the round."
Holloway said that extra bleachers are being brought into the Tennessee Avenue Complex for Saturday's games, and that a P.A. system is being brought in from the Ocean City Music Pier.
Tickets for Saturday's doubleheader are $10 for adults, $7 for youth, or $25 for a family (two adults, two kids). Sunday's final will have the same prices.
Nationally, the Premier Development League has four conferences, the others being the Central, Southern and Western. Holloway said that if Ocean City wins the Eastern Conference, it has a good chance of hosting the PDL's Final Four on Aug. 2 and 4.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Premier Development League Eastern Conference playoffs
Saturday at Tennessee Avenue soccer complex in Ocean City
Ottawa vs. Reading, 2 p.m.
Carolina vs. Ocean City, 5 p.m.
Winners play in final
7 p.m. Sunday at Carey Stadium, Sixth Street and the Boardwalk in Ocean City
Tickets: $10 adults, $7 youth, $25 for family (two adults, 2 kids) for both games Saturday. Prices also for Sunday final.