MATCH PREVIEW: Islanders prepare for first meeting with the Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Harrisburg City Islanders stay in the Sunshine State to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, August 5 in Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

FC Cincinnati vs Harrisburg City Islanders 7/22/2017 Nippert Stadium Cincinnati, OH Photographer: Brett Hansbauer

Harrisburg’s draw on Wednesday against Orlando City B was a step in the right direction for an Islanders team who have not won a match on the road since the thrilling 4-3 win at Toronto in early July.

The two teams come into the match off of hot streaks, as they both have only lost one match in their last five games. Tampa Bay is 4th place in the Eastern Conference standings, while Harrisburg currently sits just outside of the top eight.  A win would push Harrisburg right back into the playoff race.

After a stretch of five games in two weeks, the City Islanders got a much-needed break from play before their trip to Florida. This allowed the Islanders to get players like Jonny Mendoza back in the lineup after a long absence.

Mendoza will be key for the team going forward as his quick pace and skill can create havoc for opposing defenses through the midfield. Other players like Ropapa Mensah, Danny DiPrima, and Jamie Thomas will be called upon to create offense to help with Brandon Miller, who has seven shutouts this season.

Tampa Bay is strong at home with only one loss in the season to the Charleston Battery. Since the loss, the Rowdies have gone undefeated in seven matches, including three straight shutouts.

Tampa Bay made a splash when they signed former English footballer Joe Cole, and it has paid off. Cole is the leading scorer for the club with 6 goals and 4 assists on the season. He is followed up by Georgi Hristov and Martin Paterson who have six and five goals respectively.

Harrisburg will head back to FNB Field on Tuesday, August 8 to take on the Rochester Rhinos in the final leg of the Cappeli Sport Hero Cup to support the Wounded Warriors Project. Come out to City Island on Community Cares Night as we salute local military and medical personnel for their service. The first 80 fans through the gate will receive a T-shirt sponsored by Wilco Electric.