Home Opener April 16th
The Harrisburg City Islanders recently announced their 2011 regular season schedule as they look to start positively in the newly created USL PRO. The team will open up the 2011 campaign at home on Saturday, April 16th, against their in-state rivals from the west, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The 2010 chapter of the Pennsylvania rivalry ended in a stalemate, as each of the four fixtures between the two teams resulted in a 1-1 draw. Those ties were enough to send Pittsburgh into the USL-2 playoffs, but left Harrisburg out of the postseason picture. The 2011 season opener will give the City Islanders an early opportunity to get a leg up on their cross-state foe.
"We're very excited for the season to get underway, and we couldn't ask for a better opponent to open with than Pittsburgh," City Islanders head Coach Bill Becher said. "It was a battle every time we played them last season, and now that we're division rivals, there is even more on the line. Obviously, it's a very important game for us."
The 2011 curtain raiser promises to be an exciting match, as the City Islanders return a number of key players from the 2010 season, including defender Anthony Calvano, midfielder Jason Pelletier, and versatile defender/forward Geoff Bloes. Calvano and Pelletier were both selected to the USL-2 All-League Second Team, while Bloes was tied for the league lead in minutes played (1800 minutes).
The City Islanders also return defender Jeritt Thayer and midfielders Mpho Moloi, Brian Ombiji, and David Schofield. Thayer and Moloi performed consistently for Harrisburg in 2010, and will look to do the same in the upcoming season. Ombiji and Schofield were limited last season due to injury, but both will be ready to showcase their talents in 2011. Additional returning players and new signings are pending USSF approval and will be announced soon!
Pittsburgh will be boasting All-League players as well in goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap, defender Shintaro Harada, forward Jeremy Deighton, and former City Islander Chad Severs. The wealth of talent on both sides, as well as the rivalry between the two teams, will provide the perfect game to kick-off the 2011 campaign.
The season opener is sure to be a fun-filled night, with plenty of festivities for fans to take part in. The City Islanders food court will officially open for the 2011 season, offering great food, beer, and other beverages to enjoy during the game. The City Islanders will also be teaming with their presenting sponsor, Capital Blue Cross, for a t-shirt giveaway. After the game, the City Islanders' players will be available for signing autographs down on the field. Don't miss out when the City Islanders and Capital Blue Cross kick-off the 2011 USL PRO season in style!
After the season opener, the Harrisburg City Islanders will take to the road for a rematch with Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 23rd (7:00 p.m. at Chartiers Valley High School), before returning home to face the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday, April 30th (7:00 p.m.).
Kick-off time for the opener is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Skyline Sports Complex on City Island, Harrisburg. Tickets will be $14 for adults and $7 for youth. For more information on the City Islanders, or any questions regarding season ticket discounts for the upcoming season, contact the team at 717-441-GOAL, or visit www.cityislanders.com.
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