The Harrisburg City Islanders wrap up their three game homestand with a matchup against the Charlotte Independence at FNB Field on Tuesday, July 18 at 7 p.m.
Harrisburg is on a roll in the last few games and has won four of their last five matches. The four recent wins along with Harrisburg’s ability to grab as many points during their early struggles have put the Islanders right back into the playoff race.
Due to injuries, Harrisburg has had to get creative with their offense. In the last two games, the Islanders have found success with Ropapa Mensah in attacking position at center forward. Mensah was able to grab his first goal of the season against Richmond on Saturday night.
Three games in less than a week with a depleted group of players can be taxing on a team but the Islanders look poised to possibly get some much-needed reinforcements from the injury list.
The City Islanders will face a stiff test in the Charlotte Independence, a team who have won their last five matches and currently sit in second place in the league with 35 points. During their run, the Independence has averaged three goals a game including eight goals in their last two matches.
Harrisburg’s defense has been strong thus far this season but this will be the biggest test they have faced. Harrisburg’s defense has only allowed four goals in their last five games, including three straight shutouts at home.
The play of Islanders like Tiago Calvano, Lee Nishanian, Abass Mohammed and a host of other defenders have played a solid backline to stifle any opposing offenses. If any chances get through the defense, Brandon Miller has been there to make the save and is vying for MVP of this 2017 Islanders team.
A win against one of the best teams in the league would give Harrisburg more than just three important points. A win would give the City Islanders momentum to carry them through the second half of the season and a push for the playoffs.
Harrisburg’s next match presents another tough opponent in FC Cincinnati on the road. Cincinnati is in the top half of the league and their fans at home pose a challenge of their own. Harrisburg won’t return back to FNB Field until Tuesday, August 8 when they take on the Rochester Rhinos in the second leg of the Capelli Sport Hero Cup.