Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com
Monday, June 25, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders will head to Chester, Pa. on Tuesday night to take on Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in a quarterfinal matchup in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
A tough weekend on the road resulted in zero points for the City Islanders, who were outscored 6-1 over the two-game trip. Looking to bounce back in the Open Cup – which has been a panacea this year for the ambitious Islanders – Harrisburg heads to its MLS affiliate’s home stadium hoping to advance further than it ever has in the almost century-old tournament.
While Harrisburg is looking to recover from losses to Orlando City on Friday and Charleston on Saturday, the Union comes into the matchup hoping to extend their winning streak. Against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Philadelphia put on its best scoring performance of the regular season, netting four goals in an impressive victory, the first in the tenure of recently promoted interim manager John Hackworth.
Since the resignation of Peter Nowak on June 13, the Union has played under the reins of 42-year-old Hackworth, who had previously spent three years with the team as an assistant coach. A 1-0 loss to D.C. United on June 16 was mitigated a week later by the win against third-place Kansas City. Goals by Jack McInerney, Leonard Pajoy and Antoine Hoppenot sparked an offense that had averaged a league-worst 0.67 goals per game heading into the matchup. A first-minute goal by McInerney set the tone for the evening, one in which the Union dominated from start to finish. The 19-year-old striker scored again in the 43rd to send the home team into halftime brimming with confidence. Pajoy and Hoppenot, who played for the Islanders earlier this season on a short-term loan, struck in the second half to ice the game.
With a place in the semifinals at stake, both teams will recall their friendly on June 12 at Hersheypark Stadium in which the Islanders won 3-2. Two goals by rookie Garret Pettis on either side of halftime and a Yann Ekra score proved to be enough in a game of several substitutions and resting starters. But the game was helpful preparation for both squads as they vie for a chance to reach the final four of the Open Cup.
Should the Islanders win, they’ll face either Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park or the Dayton Dutch Lions at home within the confines of Skyline Sports Complex, with both potential matchups scheduled for July 10 at 7:30 p.m. Sporting Kansas City plays Dayton at home on Tuesday in their quarterfinal.