After a defensive matchup with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the Harrisburg City Islanders are set to go back on the road to face the Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday, May 28 at Goodman Stadium (5 p.m.)
This is the second meeting between the two Pennsylvania rivals of the 2017 season. Harrisburg took the first match with a 3-2 victory thanks to a 90th-minute strike by Cardel Benbow that helped the Islanders break a 2-2 tie.
Harrisburg is riding a three-game point streak into the matchup with the Steel, which includes draws against two of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference.
Bethlehem is 2-3-0 in their last five games and currently sit one point behind the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings.
The City Islanders are currently undefeated against their newest foes from the Keystone state including two wins and a draw during the 2016 campaign, the Steel’s inaugural season in the USL.
In their last outing, the Islanders defense stood tall in front of Sean Lewis, who was getting his first start of the season in net. Lewis kept a clean sheet in his first action with the Islanders and faced a few tough shots at the tail end of the match to keep the Islanders in the scoreless draw.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Islanders have yet to break through with a strong offensive performance since their three-goal victory against Bethlehem.
The last two matches have seen the emergence of Jonny Mendoza as a scoring threat in the attacking third of the pitch. He was named USL Player of the Match for the impact he had on offense during the Pittsburgh match. Mendoza only has one goal but has created space and brought speed along side fellow forwards in Benbow and Aaron Wheeler.
Harrisburg held possession for the majority of the game and were creating chances to get the winning goal but their final quality was lacking once they got into the penalty area.
The Harrisburg defense will face Bethlehem’s diverse scoring group that features Seku Conneh as the team’s leading scorer with four goals, followed by five other players who have one on the season.
Harrisburg looks to get their first win in six games and earn three points to vault themselves into the top half of the table all while staying undefeated against their in-state rivals.
After taking on Bethlehem, Harrisburg will stay on the road for three straight games, which includes a third round U.S. Open Cup match against Reading United AC, before returning home to face Bethlehem once again on Tuesday, June 20 at FNB Field (7 p.m.).