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USL League Two update: West Chester United close in on Mid-Atlantic title

Ocean City Nor’easters are only team within striking distance

Matt Ralph

The regular season is coming to a close in USL League Two, and West Chester United are a win or two away from receiving the Mid Atlantic Division title.

West Chester are coming off of a narrow 1-0 victory over defending champions Reading United last Wednesday, improving their record to 8-1-2. The winning goal came in the 16th minute via leading scorer Troy Amspacher, on an assist from Isaac McGinnis.

The win was West Chester’s ninth shutout in 11 matches this year, and the capper of a three-game sweep of Reading in 2021.

West Chester United sits at the top of the division with 26 points, five ahead of Ocean City Nor’easters, the closest competitor. The lead should be unassailable with just three games left, although Ocean City have one game in hand heading into the final few weeks.

The league leaders will face off with mid-table Philadelphia Lone Star tonight at Kildare’s Turf Field. In their only other meeting, West Chester won 1-0 through yet another Amspacher goal.

If Ocean City want any chance of catching West Chester, their chance will most likely come on Friday, July 9, when the two will play at Carey Stadium. That fixture will be Ocean City’s penultimate match, but will be the end of West Chester’s season. If Blaise Santangelo’s squad falls to their closest chaser, then the title could be in Ocean City’s hands when they visit Philadelphia Lone Star that Sunday, July 11.

Northern Virginia FC, with 17 points, remain in the title chase in theory alone. The Leesburg-based club will need to defeat its four remaining opponents, which includes West Chester, and get a lot of help from teams lower down the table.

West Chester and Ocean City have been successful due to their ability to score this season. Both have put the ball in the net 23 times, good for top 10 in the nation. Saint Louis University striker Simon Becher leads Ocean City with eight goals in 500 minutes on the field, the second-most of anyone in the nation. Amspacher and Christopher Donovan both have five tallies for West Chester, where a committee approach has helped their offensive production.

Defensively, West Chester is tied for second in the nation for the fewest goals conceded. Led by Dane Jacomen, the team has only let four goals past in 11 league matches.

The Mid Atlantic Division will confirm its champion on Sunday, July 11 when all games have finished.