Harrisburg, PA (June 2, 2016) – Last night the City Islanders staged a late comeback to advance to the Fourth Round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Play by eliminating NPSL-side Chattanooga FC, 2-1, at Finely Stadium.
Despite, strong bouts of possession by the USL squad, Chattanooga opened the match’s scoring in the 44th minute when Juan Hernandez connected with Soren Yuhaschek to blank the Islanders’ backline. City had chances to level the score before half off of multiple corner attempts and set pieces, but were unable to find the back of the net and entered halftime trailing the hosts.
In the 71st minute, just minutes after his substitution into the match, Craig Fosterrecorded the Islanders first goal of the night when he lofted a cross over the shoulder of Chattanooga’s keeper. In the 80th minute Foster made another impressive play isolating his defender and finding City Islander’s leading scoring Paul Wilson for a 1v1 with the keeper. Wilson easily finished far post to notch the game winner allowing City to advance to Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup where they would face familiar faces and former MLS affiliate, the Philadelphia Union.
In previous seasons, City has had a reputation for their successful runs in the Open Cup. In 2012, the Islanders made waves when they erased a 3-0 deficit in the second extra time period, forcing penalty kicks to upset the New England Revolution. Despite failing to advance beyond the quarterfinals the club received praise for advancing further than any other USL team in the tournament in 2010 and 2012. The Islanders now stand with an overall record of 18-9 all time in the tournament.
In the Fourth Round of play, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 the Islanders will take on the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup runner-up and former MLS affiliate the Philadelphia Union. The Islanders were affiliates of the Philadelphia Union for seven years before parting ways in 2015. This will be the first time that these teams face off since going their separate ways.
The Philadelphia Union is no stranger to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, making it to final rounds in both 2014 and 2015. Union made its very first run to the final in the 2014 edition of the cup, but lost in extra time to the Seattle Sounders FC. In the 2015 Open Cup final, Union faced off MLS team Kansas City who ultimately come out victorious. Kansas City won the game 7-6 on penalties after the game had ended 1-1 in regulation and in overtime.
Before their next Open Cup test the Islanders will travel to Wilmington to face the Hammerheads for the first time this USL season. They will then continue their road series against the New York Red Bulls II on Thursday, June 9th before heading to Philadelphia on June 15th to compete for the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.
44′ – Chattanooga FC – Soren Yuhaschek (Juan Hernandez)
71′ – City Islanders – Craig Foster (unassisted)
80′ – City Islanders – Paul Wilson (Craig Foster)
June 3: City Islanders at Wilmington Hammerheads FC, 7 p.m. ET, Legion Stadium
June 9: City Islanders at New York Red Bulls II, 7 p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena
June 15: City Islanders at Philadelphia Union, Time TBA, Location TBA