The USL-PDL Mid Atlantic Division standings are tight at the top. Five teams are separated by five points with the top four teams only two points apart. Reading United is currently in a three-way tie with 23 points and two points behind Ocean City Nor’Easters. While trying to separate themselves on the table, Reading also looks to stay undefeated in league play.
This weekend Reading’s play will clearly dictate where they end up in the standings. On Friday, Reading takes on the Long Island Rough Riders, who also have 23 points but have played one less game. Earlier this season both teams played to a 0-0 tie, and that result could be repeated. Both teams have solid defenses. However, if Reading could come away with three points, that would be a big three points.
On Sunday, Reading will travel to take on the first-place Nor-Easters. In June, both teams fought to a 1-1 tie, and Sunday’s game looks to be a big match for both squads. Ocean City also has a game-in-hand on Reading and leads the division, but if Reading can find a victory, then the Nor’Easters will have to find their own three points elsewhere.
Reading has tied in their last three games, but two ties this weekend might not be enough to get them into the playoffs. If they finish second or third in the division, then they will have to take part in a play-in game. On the other hand, if they can win the division, they will automatically qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Reading’s playoff hopes could either fall apart or be set in stone. Either way, Reading needs to bring their “A” games for a complete 90 minutes. In past games, Reading has given up late leads because of lack of discipline and uninspired play, and this weekend they cannot afford that.
Phil Naegely is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @pnaegelyRS and add him to your circles on Google.