May 16, 2017 - United Soccer League (USL) - Harrisburg City Islanders
Harrisburg, PA - The Harrisburg City Islanders enter their first non-USL competition this season with a match-up against the Ocean City Nor'Easters in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, May 17 at Carey Stadium in Ocean City, NJ.
Harrisburg's success in the U.S. Open Cup has been well documented. In previous years, they have beaten MLS clubs and reached the fourth round on several occasions.
In 2012, the Islanders took down two MLS teams in route to their most successful tournament appearance in team history. Harrisburg started the historic run with a win against the New England Revolution in penalty kicks before taking down the New York Red Bulls 3-1 in extra time.
Harrisburg ultimately fell to their in-state MLS club, the Philadelphia Union, 5-2 in the quarterfinals. This was the furthest Harrisburg had ever progressed in the tournament.
Last season, the Islanders bowed out in the fourth round when they lost to the Union again by a final score of 3-2. The City Islanders almost completed an improbable comeback after being down 2-0 entering the 78th minute. Craig Foster and Bobby Warshaw scored two goals in the span of two minutes but fell just short of getting the third goal to complete the comeback.
The match up against the Nor'Easters falls in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup after Ocean City took down Junior Lone Star FC 3-1. Ocean City is no stranger to pulling an upset either. They have already beaten five professional teams in their history and a win against the Islanders would be the third most by an amateur team in the modern era.
According to Head Coach Bill Becher, the match-up against Ocean City is expected to be a good one.
"Going to Ocean City is going to be tough," he states. "We did that in 2007 and won 2-1 there, but it was a highly contested game and I expect the same thing this year. They always have one of the best PDL teams year in and year out and we've been very fortunate to have gotten some alumni from there over years. Jason Plumhoff, Ken Tribett, Shawn McLaws and many others have played for Ocean City and have come to play with the Islanders. We are looking forward to the challenge and will hopefully do enough to get us to the next round."
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a national tournament comprised of several different levels of professional and amateur leagues. It is in its 104th year and has become the largest ongoing national competition in the U.S. and the third-longest running competition in the world.
The Islanders and the Nor'Easters will face-off at 7 p.m. at Carey Stadium in Ocean City (also known as the Beach House). Join Harrisburg's supporters group, the Capital City Crew, as they host a City Islanders vs. Nor'Easters viewing party at Sturges Speakeasy in Downtown Harrisburg. The event starts at 6:45 p.m.