OCEAN CITY - The Carolina Dynamo could be a difficult playoff opponent for the Ocean City Nor'easters when they meet today at 5 p.m. at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex here.
The Dynamo made it to the national championship game of the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League last year, losing 2-1 to Forest City London, of Ontario.
The Nor'easters will host the PDL's Eastern Conference championship this weekend. Both semifinals will be played today at the Tennessee Avenue Complex. The Ottawa Fury will meet Reading United AC at 2 p.m., followed by the Ocean City-Carolina game.
The championship game is set for 7 p.m. Sunday at Carey Stadium in Ocean City.
The same four teams were in the Eastern Conference championships last year, with Ottawa beating Ocean City 1-0 before losing to Carolina 1-0 in the final.
"We're excited," Nor'easters general manager Neil Holloway said Friday. "We're hoping to get a good crowd. Now it's up to the team and the coaches to get the result. All four teams got new players this year to try to improve and get stronger, and that's why they're all back in the conference championships."
Carolina, (9-2-3), based in Greensboro, N.C., is the three-time South Atlantic Division champion and has eight shutouts. Goalie Peyton Ford has five shutouts, Tom Rusling the other three.
Carolina forward Mamadee Nyepon has seven goals and three assists, while forward Hakan Ilhan has six goals and four assists. Midfielder Brandt Bronico has five goals.
The Dynamo clinched the South Atlantic title on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over the Virginia Beach Piranhas at Mcpherson Stadium in Greensboro.
"Carolina is a very balanced team that's good defensively, and they can score goals," Ocean City coach Tim Oswald said Friday. "We'll have to prepare for that and execute our game plan. We have an idea of what they do, but we have to execute what we've done well the last two seasons."
Ocean City is 13-3-1 overall and the two-time Mid-Atlantic Division champion. O.C. was 11-2-1 in the PDL regular season. The Nor'easters are led by Dwayne Reid, who has 10 goals, tied for seventh place nationally in PDL goal scoring.
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