11 July 2007

Meet the Harrisburg City Islanders, and those that love them...

We can be reasonably conversant about MLS teams, but frankly we're less than knowledgeable about the USL-2. This is our fault, not theirs, so instead Derek Meluzio of the Upper 90 blog at Penn Live sent us this guide to the team United will face in the US Open Cup. Our thanks to him, and we provide it to you as a guide for what team DC United will face tonight, and the City Islanders Scene:

DC United fans: Wondering who the heck the City Islanders are? Let me fill you in. I follow them quite a bit throughout the season as I live very close to Harrisburg. On the main stage, I am actually a DC United fan. Kinda ironic isn't it. DC gets a lot of attention as they are an MLS squad and the lower level USL-2 teams kind of sneak under the radar. So I do not blame you if you have never heard of the "Isles Guys" from Harrisburg.

They play in Harrisburg, PA at the Skyline Sports Complex. It is located on City Island, which is an actual island on the Susquehanna river running alongside Harrisburg. Their field is right next to the baseball stadium where the Harrisburg Senators play. They usually have between 1500 and 2500 people attend their games. That is low compared to a DC United match but the small complex makes the game feel packed when you are there and it is very up close and personal like minor league sports are.

They have a "large" reserve seating section running down along their one sideline with another smaller reserve seating section behind the one goal. At the other end is a deck seating area called "Socceritaville". People who buy a season long pass into the area can watch the game from the deck while enjoying a Margarita or beer. This goes along with the whole "Island" theme to their home games. Their mascot is a soccer jersey wearing half human half Tiki Pole named Tikimon. As night falls the Harrisburg city skyline can be seen in the near distance.

As for the team, some players are relatively local. Many of them played college at local schools in PA, New York, or Maryland. Others come from farther away. Mo Oduor and Brian Ombiji are from the same small village in Kenya. David Schofield is from England. Like I said before most played college ball and joined the USL second division as a "pro". Some have experience in the USL first division. Starting GK Matt Nelson played in the USL-1 division last season until his team folded at years end. Mike Lookingland and Jani Galik have some experience in the MLS. Lookingland played last year for Real Salt Lake. Galik made a few appearences for New England.

Chad Severs, their best scorer, may not be with them tonight. He is up with the Rochester Rhinos. Aside from him, they will look to Marty Johnston and Mo Oduor to help score. Johnston arrived a short time ago from the Vancouver Whitecaps on loan. He scored the other night and is catching stride now. Oduor, not usually a scorer has had recent success and was just named USL-2 player of the week. Matt "Taz" Tanzini will also look to attack. He is usually subbed in the second half with fresh legs to supply some spark.

In the back they have Chris Morman and Dustin Bixler as the main men. They are the key players Harrisburg will turn to to "try" and stop any DC attack. Adam Clay, Schofield, and Lookingland are the other key players that come to mind.

Hope this helps give you some insight into who your team is playing.

It does... does it say anything about my cruel heart that I'm relieved one of their best scorers might not be available? I am a bitter man, I suppose. My thanks to Derek for his guide to the City Island.

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5 Comments:

At 11 July, 2007 17:06, Anonymous keithw said...

way cool Derek, thanks for the insight. now i have a usl 2 team to root for, except tonight of course.

 
At 12 July, 2007 08:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know who they are now? They are the team that kicked DCU out of the US Open Cup.

 
At 12 July, 2007 09:24, Blogger D said...

Oh, we certainly know now. As I said before, we should have known more about them previously, and took them seriously the entire time.

 
At 12 July, 2007 10:09, Blogger Mr. Fish said...

Interesting that DC, Houston, and LA, all Superliga clubs, all fell at their first USOC test. Hmm...

 
At 12 July, 2007 10:28, Blogger Jason said...

It isn't at all surprising... they all have insanely difficult schedules in the next 7 weeks... as I recall from last night on WMET, he was saying we have 3 a weeks for the next 7 straight weeks and it goes longer if we make it out of SuperLiga Round Robin. There is NO way that the first team can carry that. You're going to see reserves all over the place to try and keep fitness of the entire team for both Supporters Shield and MLS Cup runs.

Last year I agreed with D on the Shield being more important (quietly obviousally), this year I think making MLS Cup is more important. It's in DC, on ABC (which is not happening that often still), and it would be really bad for us not to play at home for our 5th Cup.

 

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