The Harrisburg City Islanders have one final match at home this season and one final match to show their fans that they have what it takes to make it to the USL Playoffs.
While a win on Saturday doesn’t automatically put the Islanders into the postseason, it will go a long way to furthering their efforts. Especially because of their opponent.
Saint Louis sits just one spot ahead of the Islanders in the standings. A win would vault the Islanders into 10th place in the league and within striking distance of the playoffs.
Harrisburg picked up a big win against the Ottawa Fury in their last meeting, despite being a man down for more than a half. Cardel Benbow’s 40th-minute red card left the Islanders without his services for the remainer of that game and will serve a three game suspension as a result.
Although Benbow is a key player in the Islanders offense, their current situation of players gives them options to replace the Jamaican-forward.
Aaron Wheeler, Pedro Ribeiro, and Ropapa Mensah are just some of the names who can step up to make plays for the Islanders all over the field. Wheeler is just getting back to form but his services will be called upon late in matches to notch a late goal or preserve a lead.
Mensah, the team’s leading scorer, can make things happen from all over the pitch. His 46th-minute goal against Ottawa lifted the Islanders and kept their playoff hopes alive.
Saint Louis has only one win in their last five matches, but have managed to score in each one of those games. The two teams played just three weeks ago and Harrisburg was able to take a 2-1 win at Toyota Stadium.
Christian Volesky leads Saint Louis with eight goals on the season and looks to lift the team to their place in the playoffs. Saint Louis is coming off a tough draw to FC Cincinnati after leading by two goals with only 20 minutes to play in the match. A win could have given them a direct path to the postseason.
Harrisburg has one match remaining in the regular season when they travel to face the Charleston Battery on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. Harrisburg doesn’t control its own fate for the playoffs but they need a win to have a shot at getting there.
The Islanders will host Fan Appreciation Night tomorrow night with a pre-game party at Skyline Sports Complex at 4:30 p.m. and an in-game white out. The first 1,000 fans will receive free giveaways from Arlington Orthopedics. PLUS, the team will host their last post-game party at Sturges Speakeasy following the game.