Islanders Ink Olabiyi and Sanchez for 2017 Season

Two More Midfielders Signed with Harrisburg Franchise

Harrisburg, Pa (March 21, 2017) – The Harrisburg City Islanders announced today the signing Rasheed Olabiyi and Manolo Sanchez, pending League and Federation approval. The two midfielders bring an extensive repertoire of professional experience that will strengthen the Harrisburg squad in 2017.

Rasheed Olabiyi

Rasheed Olabiyi is a former Houston Dynamo and Nigerian Premier League midfielder, who spent almost his entire professional career at the highest level of Nigerian professional soccer. He joined the Enyimba Peoples’ Elephants in 2007 and led the team to a Nigerian Premiership title in 2010. Olabiyi helped his Nigerian team to two Nigerian FA Cups and Two Nigerian Super Cups plus a semi-final appearance in the African Champion League in 2011.

Olabiyi’s most recent professional play came with the MLS Houston Dynamo in 2015. He made four starts in seven appearances for the Dynamo and tallied one assist in 283 minutes of play.

“Rasheed is bringing some valuable experience to the team,” stated Head Coach Bill Becher. “I think he’ll bring a lot to our midfield, and I look forward to having him this season.”

The 26-year-old Nigerian represented his country in the U-17, U-20, and U-23 international tournaments throughout his career. In 2014, he was named to the Nigerian Premiership Best XI. Olabiyi got his start while training at the Pepsi Football Academy in Nigeria, which has produced players like Jon Obi Mikel and Elderson Echiejile.

“I am excited and blessed to be a part of the Harrisburg City Islanders and I thank the club for the opportunity to continue my career in the U.S.,” said Olabiyi. “We have a group of strong players that I believe will make us a team to contend with and who can make the playoffs this season.”

Manolo Sanchez

Manolo Sanchez is a former MLS and Peurto Rican National Team left back.

The Philadelphia native has spent his professional soccer career at a variety of clubs throughout North America. He broke into the league as the New York Red Bulls’ 79th overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

As an unsigned draft pick during the 2015 season, Sanchez was a standout in camp and scored the game-winning goal in the Red Bull’s 1-0 victory over Oklahoma City Energy FC. Sanchez did not see much pitch time with the Red Bulls but was able to tally six shots, two on goal, in just 22 minutes of play.

“I am very excited to be with this team,” said Sanchez. “We have an ambitious group of guys and I am ready to help this team win. It also feels good to be close to home and to play in front of loved ones.”

Sanchez left New York after the 2015 season to join the San Antonio FC in the USL. At San Antonio, Sanchez netted one goal in 384 minutes of play.

“We are excited to have Manolo on the team this season,” said Bill Becher. “He has been in the league for some time now and really impressed us during the preseason. I think that he’ll do well here.”

Olabiyi and Sanchez join the

The 2017 Harrisburg City Islanders roster is as follows:

Paul Wilson (Midfield)
Mohoumed Dabo (Midfield)
Danny DiPrima (Midfield)
Cardel Benbow (Forward)
Shawn McLaws (Defense)
James Thomas (Defense)
Aaron Wheeler (Forward)
Lee Nishanian (Defense)
Chris Hill (Defense)
Jonny Mendoza (Midfield)
Travis Brent (Defense)
Brandon Miller (Goalkeeper)
John Grosh (Midfield)
Mike Olla (Forward)
Jake Bond (Defense)
Griffin Libhart (Defense)
Nick Noble (Goalkeeper)
Rasheed Olabiyi (Midfield)
Manolo Sanchez (Midfield)

The Islanders begin their 2017 campaign on the road against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, March 25 at City Stadium. Kick-ff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

On Saturday, April 15, the Islanders host Bethlehem Steel FC on FNB Field for their Home Opener at 7 p.m. Get your season tickets now and don’t miss the action.

ABOUT THE HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS

The Harrisburg City Islanders are entering their 14th Season in Central Pennsylvania as a professional soccer team in the United Soccer League. The league represents the highest level of competition in the United States and Canada outside of Major League Soccer (MLS). In addition to the professional squad, the Harrisburg City Islanders Academy fields youth teams for boys and girls ages 9-23. The City Islanders Academy is dedicated to player development in Central, Pennsylvania. The premier level Academy teams participate in the nationally recognized Super Y-League. For more information about the Harrisburg City Islanders please visit www.cityislanders.com or call 717.441.GOAL (4625).

MEDIA CONTACT:

Madeline Williams

Harrisburg City Islanders

Communications and Marketing Manager

P: 717.441.4625 C: 717.602.5369 E: madeline@cityislanders.com