Harrisburg, PA (April 11, 2017) – The Harrisburg City Islanders open their defense of City Island for the first time in 2017 with a full roster and a new Capelli Sport home kit for the entire season at a press conference today at the Capital Blue Store in Enola.
Gary St. Hilaire, of Capital BlueCross kicked off the press conference with remarks pertaining to Capital BlueCross’ fourteen-year relationship with the City Islanders. Following St. Hilaire, Eric Pettis reviewed the status of the league, including adopting Division 2 status, the expansion of the ownership group which includes new majority owner George Altirs (Capelli Sport). The remaining owners of the City Islanders include Brian Bolinger (Tuscarora Wayne), Bryan Gobin (Alert Pharmacy) and Eric Pettis (Comprehensive Financial Associates and PA Pension Planners).
Pettis turned the attention to the Islanders’ Head Coach Bill Becher, who has been the original coach of the team since its inception in 2004. Becher announced Harrisburg’s 2017 roster which is full of new and familiar faces and features both local and world class footballers. The team has brought in past champions and players of the year to bring some of the best talent in team history.
To start their 2017 season, the Islanders played in six preseason games against local college clubs and two USL opponents. Harrisburg finished the preseason undefeated with a 2-0-4 record.
Harrisburg has posted a 1-1-0 record thus far in the regular season and recorded their first victory of 2017 against the defending USL Champs, the New York Red Bulls II.
The Islanders will compete against their cross-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, in the third year of the Keystone Derby Cup. For the second year in a row, the season long rivalry will be sponsored by K&L Gates and the Pennsylvania Lottery.
In 2016, the Islanders captured their first Keystone Derby Cup with two wins and one draw in the season series. Harrisburg will host two games of the rivalry at FNB Field this season.
Harrisburg City Islanders will play all sixteen home matches at FNB Field on City Island in Harrisburg for this exciting 2017 season as a representative of the USL’s Eastern Conference. The conference introduces two new teams this season, Tamp Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury FC, whom the Islanders will play in the coming months. Other opponents traveling to Harrisburg this season include: Bethlehem Steel FC , Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Cincinnati FC, St. Louis FC, Louisville FC, New York Red Bulls II , Orlando City B, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, and Toronto FC.
In 2017, the Islanders have an official supporters group in the Capital City Crew. The Crew is a group of local soccer enthusiasts dedicated to bringing an atmosphere to FNB Field that has never existed before. Fans can learn more about the Capital City Crew following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CapCity717.
The Home Opener to the season kicks off as Harrisburg hosts the Bethlehem Steel FC this Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. This is the first meeting between the Islanders and their newest in-state rival from less than 100 miles away. Fans will want to arrive early to part take in a pre-game show hosted by FUN with exciting trivia and games. Mr. B’s Entertainment Zone will feature free games for kids of all ages. The first 1,000 fans to the game will receive an exclusive home opener rally towel sponsored by Capital BlueCross. Fans are encouraged to stay afterward for player autographs. Finally, join the team post-match at Sturges Speakeasy for a post-match celebration.
The Islanders will stay at home for their second game in four days when they take on Orlando City B on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. Fans will want to arrive early to enjoy PA Sport Night and are encouraged to wear their favorite team’s gear.
To get tickets, visit www.cityislanders.com. All tickets on game day are $ 12 and are general admission for ages 5 and up. Four and under are free. Fans can save $ 3 per ticket by purchasing in advance online. The $9 advance ticket much be purchased by 5 pm the day before the match to receive the $ 3 savings. More info for all the season’s special events and matches can be found on the website or by phoning 717-441-4625. Keep up to date with all of the action by following the Harrisburg City Islanders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
ABOUT THE HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS
The Harrisburg City Islanders are entering their 14th Season in Central Pennsylvania as a professional soccer team in the United Soccer League. The league represents the highest level of competition in the United States and Canada outside of Major League Soccer (MLS). In addition to the professional squad, the Harrisburg City Islanders Academy fields youth teams for boys and girls ages 9-23. The Harrisburg City Islanders Academy is dedicated to player development in Central, Pennsylvania. For more information about the Harrisburg City Islanders please visit www.cityislanders.com or call 717.441.GOAL (4625).
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