Islanders Sign Local Talent and New Faces to 2017 Roster

Four New Signings Include Two Lancaster County Natives

Harrisburg, Pa (March 16, 2017) – The Harrisburg City Islanders announced today the signing of four more players for the 2017 season. As they continue to round out their roster with new and experienced  talent, the Harrisburg squad add John Grosh (midfield), Mike Olla (forward), Jake Bond (defense), and Griffin Libhart (defense).

John Grosh – Midfield

Grosh is a local player who went to Manheim Township and played college soccer at Drexel University. As a midfielder at Drexel, Grosh played in all four seasons and s

cored six goals on 71 total shots.

After graduation, Grosh joined Hershey FC of the National Premier Soccer League where he played in two games and scored a goal in both matches.

Grosh looks to continue his professional career with the Islanders in 2017.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to play for the Isl

anders. I am a local guy who grew up watching their games, so playing for the team is special. I am bringing my industry and depth to an already talented team, and I hope to help them return to the playoffs and ultimately challenge for the title.”

Head Coach Bill Becher recognizes Grosh’s potential and has great expectations for the midfielder this season.

“John is a local player and he has been solid all preseason.  He has a great work ethic and I think he will continue to get better.”

Mike Olla – Forward

Olla is entering his first season of professional soccer after playing four seasons at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. While in college Olla scored 40 goals with 14 assists for a total of 94 points on 124 shots on goal.

Olla’s best year was in 2015, where he finished third in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) with 15 goals, 32 points, and 4 game-winning goals. He was named to the First-Team All-NJAC.

Additionally, Olla scored the opening goal in the Islanders preseason game against Binghamton State University.

Olla is thrilled to bring his talents to the Islanders as he kicks off his professional career.

“Playing with the Harrisburg City Islanders is a great opportunity for me to take my game to the next level. I can develop my craft here and will contribute to the club’s success this season with my pace, flare, and good vibes.”

Harrisburg’s Head Coach Bill Becher is confident in the forward’s ability, as well.

“Mike adds speed and quickness to our attack. He impressed us this preseason with his ability to run at defenders and we’ll be looking for that same intensity during the regular season.”

Jake Bond – Defense

Bond played college soccer at Quincy University and earned Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Conference second team and third team honors during his four seasons.

While in college, Bond also played with the St. Louis Lions of the Premier Development League. Professionally, Bond signed with PDL Kitsap Pumas and most recently played in the USL with St. Louis FC in 2016.

The young defender is eager to join the Islanders in 2017.

“I am very excited to continue my career in a place that has proven to be a top club in the League. To win games and championships are the reasons that I play this game, so it is important to me to be a part of an organization that is fully behind these same ideas.”

Bill Becher comments on the defender’s versatile game.

“Jake has played well throughout preseason.  He is strong on both sides of the ball, and I am looking forward to what he’ll do for us this season.”

Griffin Libhart – Defense

Libhart is a local player from Lancaster County, who spent his college career as a top player for West Virginia University. His college career included 43 games played and 10 starts with one goal and three assists.

In high school, Libhart was a standout player at Lancaster County’s Donegal High School. He set a career record with 46 goals in high school and earned a number of honors including two-time L-L League All-Star.

The defender also spent time playing for the Islanders Academy U-23 team before signing to the first team.

“I grew up watching the Islanders play, so to play for this organization is unbelievable. This is a team of great players and coaches, and I am going to bring my competitive mentality to the training ground everyday to help us back into the playoffs,” states Griffin.

Bill Becher comments on Griffin’s versatility as one of his key attributes.

“Griffin played in our Academy and worked extremely hard to make the first team. He can play several different positions and that is going to be a great benefit for us this year.”

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)

All four players help the Islanders get closer to their ultimate goal of securing a final roster before they open up play against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, March 25 at 7 p.m.

Join the Islanders as they start their defense of City Island on Saturday, April 15 against the Bethlehem Steel FC. Grab season tickets now and keep a look out for when single game tickets go on sale.


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 or call 717.441.GOAL (4625).


Madeline Williams

Harrisburg City Islanders

Communications and Marketing Manager

P: 717.441.4625 C: 717.602.5369 E: