The Harrisburg City Islanders advance to round 4 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after a victory in Reading, PA against Reading United A.C. (PDL).
Danny DiPrima opened up the scoring for Harrisburg within the first 10 minutes of the first half. An assist from Pedro Ribeiro, a former Reading United player, gave the DiPrima the perfect opportunity to score and tally his third career goal in U.S. Open Cup play.
The final two goals came from rookie Jake Bond, who saw his second start for the Islanders. Bond scored in the 16th minute of the match off of an assist by Jamie Thomas and again in the 50th minute, putting the young player on the books for Harrisburg in 2017.
The Islanders entered the matchup after knocking the Ocean City Nor’easters out of the Open Cup competition earlier in the month. After 120 minutes of play, the Islanders finally found a victory within 7 rounds of penalty kicks. Reading, too, was coming off of a win pulling a 3-2 upset against the New York Cosmos two weeks ago, but were unable to keep their winning streak alive at this point in the competition.
Reading United had ample opportunities to score, but goalkeeper Sean Lewis was determined to keep a clean sheet in his third appearance this season, and made a valiant effort to save the numerous shots sent in Harrisburg’s territory.
Harrisburg ‘s line-up did not include key players in Aaron Wheeler, Paul Wilson, Cardel Benbow, and Jonny Mendoza, but their defense remained strong and proved to be a solid squad yet again.
DiPrima and Ribeiro both received yellow cards in the 24th and 67th minutes, respectively, but maintained under the pressure to help their team claim the win.
The Islanders will resume USL play on June 10 against the Ottawa Fury FC before facing the Philadelphia Union on June 14 at Talen Energy Stadium. Last season, Harrisburg fell to the Union at their home in Chester, PA, but look for a win against their ex-MLS affliliate. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. More details to come.