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Preview: Upper 90 By Derek Meluzio

Upper 90 By Derek Meluzio



Harrisburg City Islanders game reports, news, photos, videos and more



Last Build Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:38:38 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2015
 



City Islander absence makes the soccer heart grow fonder

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:56:13 UTC

2014-06-02T15:38:38Z

Selfishly I must say that Saturday night's match with the Richmond Kickers was a huge success. How could I think that? I am almost ashamed to say this but... it was my first match of the 2014 season at Skyline Sports Complex. Yes, you read that correctly, "Mr. City Islander" had not been to a home game in 2014... Selfishly I must say that Saturday night's match with the Richmond Kickers was a huge success. How could I think that? I am almost ashamed to say this but... it was my first match of the 2014 season at Skyline Sports Complex. View full sizeMorgan Langley on City Island against the Kickers: photo by Derek Meluzio  Yes, you read that correctly, "Mr. City Islander" had not been to a home game in 2014 until Saturday night. Sometimes real life just gets in the way. All joking aside, it just so happened that every time I would check the schedule for upcoming games it seemed we had a family event that night. Sports for the kids, family birthday party, that sort of thing. So in the end I was watching some soccer, it was just my son's U10 team instead of the "Isles Guys" and that is certainly okay with me. At different times in your life you have to adjust your priorities.  That being said, it was great to be back on City Island for a soccer match. I actually think that being away from the games was a good thing in the long run. It made me appreciate them and miss them. Sometimes when you are going all the time you take it for granted and it becomes second hand. Even my kids were excited to be back at a game. The walk up from the parking lot is fun. You know what I mean. The closer you get to the field the more you hear the warm up music and the more excited you get. Seeing fans in the parking lot and on the walk to the field wearing their jerseys and t-shirts is always fun. I love spotting fans with a Union jersey, old school City Islander jersey, or a cool national team jersey. View full sizeA view of the large crowd Saturday against the Kickers: photo by Derek Meluzio  The weather was perfect. That sure didn't hurt things either. Seeing old friends was  great. You guys know who you are. The joke was that I had to introduce myself as the "new guy" cause they didn't recognize me. They asked if I got lost on the walk here from the parking lot. Family and friends make sporting events even better and that is one of the things I have always loved about the City Islander games. The kids did the high five line with the players, my youngest did the bounce house... alot, and my daughter got her face painted. Wait, is this a carnival or a soccer match? Yes we had fun as a family but in the end we are there for the soccer so lets talk about it. The ending was brutal. I have been attending matches for just over seven years now. I have seen some pretty awesome results and I have been there for some pretty horrrible results. It is a roller coaster is it not? Being a supporter of a soccer team can be up and down. At the end of the day Saturday night was a bummer. To come from behind and tie the match late only to blow it and lose even later sure stings. It left a bad taste in the mouth of the fans but I am sure it did the same to the players so I bet they will learn from it. View full sizeFormer City Islander Tishan Hanley returned as a member of the Kickers: photo by Derek Meluzio  It is all a learning process. Each team and each season is different. Each group of guys need to learn how to win. I can really not comment on the play on the field all that much because honestly, like we mentioned earlier, I have only seen one match so far. To be even more honest, with the kiddoes face painting and bounce housing (is that a word?) I didn't catch all of it anyway. Still though, I took away some positives and I took away some negatives. The first positive was the crowd. It was great seeing a crowd well over 2,000 people at Skyline. The stands were pretty packed, the youth high five line at the begining was longer then ever, and it made for an awesome[...]


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Multiple current and former City Islander players honored by USL PRO

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:03:52 UTC

2014-04-30T15:27:25Z

It was a great week of action for both current and former City Islander players. Current Harrisburg City Islander Matt Bahner has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week for week 6. Bahner helped aid the City Islanders during their first win of the young 2014 season. The match ended 2-1 as Harrisburg defeated Sacramento in front of over...

It was a great week of action for both current and former City Islander players.

Current Harrisburg City Islander Matt Bahner has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week for week 6. Bahner helped aid the City Islanders during their first win of the young 2014 season. The match ended 2-1 as Harrisburg defeated Sacramento in front of over 20,000 fans. Matt not only showed how versatile he is but he also showed how he can perform under pressure as Sacramento mounted lots of pressure in the last 20 minutes.

(image) Matt Bahner, seen here with HCI last season, made the week 6 USL PRO Team of the Week: photo by Derek Meluzio 

Harrisburg's Robbie Derschang and Morgan Langley were named as honorable mentions.

Both Derschang and Langley netted goals for Harrisburg against Sacramento. As far as I know the goal for Robbie was his first as a pro player. Morgan's goal was a beauty of a finish that was a result of some nifty work by himself to set up the play.

Also earning honorable mentions from USL PRO were former "Isles Guy" Brandon Swartzendruber and keeper Brock Duckworth who spent time on trial with HCI during the pre-season a few years back.


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2014 City Islanders roster preview and "Where are they now?" update

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:41:28 UTC

2014-02-28T18:57:26Z

Before you know it the 2014 Harrisburg City Islanders pre-season will be in full swing. Once it gets started we always have a solid list of previous players who will be back again, new guys who have been brought in, and hopefuls that may just catch on with the team and earn a contract. View full sizeThe City Islanders... Before you know it the 2014 Harrisburg City Islanders pre-season will be in full swing. Once it gets started we always have a solid list of previous players who will be back again, new guys who have been brought in, and hopefuls that may just catch on with the team and earn a contract. View full sizeThe City Islanders lined up for the natioanl anthem during 2013: photo by Derek Meluzio  The front office staff at the City Islanders have really been busy this offseason and one of the things they have been doing a great job of is communicating with the fans about which players will be returning. Lets take a look at the list of players who are under contract and will be suiting up on the island along with some guys who have moved on and signed elsewhere. I also added a bit of a "Where are they now?" for former players around the leagues. Returning players back for 2014: There is a long list of players that the City Islanders have confirmed will be back either through tweets, facebook, or press releases. According to my records that list includes but may not be limited to Coady Andrews, Matt Bahner, Brian Sylvestre, Colin Zizzi, Andrew Welker, Jason Pelletier, Morgan Langley, Jamiel Hardware, Stephen Basso, Garret Pettis, and Damani Richards. I also believe the team is hoping to have keeper Nick Noble return and hopefully we will know more details soon. Some of these guys are key players from last year's squad (Pelletier, Langley, Basso) some are guys that had limited roles in 2013 but hope to make a bigger impact in 2014 (Sylvestre, Hardware), and some are guys who were out with injury but are back and ready to go (Welker, Pettis). Harrisburg always does a great job of locking up their core group of key players heading into training camp. This year is no different. There are a bunch of major franchise players like Basso, Pelletier, Langley, and Welker who represent a great foundation. Having Sylvestre signed gives us the knowledge that we have a capable keeper in the mix no matter what and knowing that Noble may come back firms up the fact that we could once again be a powerhouse in goal. Players who have signed elsewhere: The positions that always seem to get finalized late in pre-season are starting keepers and goal scoring forwards. Again, with Brian and Nick in the fold we should be fine in the back but as for who will score the goals... that is the biggest question. Sainey Touray has signed with the Scorpions of the NASL and Lucky Mkosana will be with the Tampa Bay Rowdies for 2014. That is a lot of offense from last season that will be missing. We will need to find a guy that is a target man up front and/or a guy who is a finisher to replace Touray and Mkosana. Add to that the fact that Yann Ekra has not been confirmed to return and we have an area of concern. Speaking of Yann, many fans know he was training with Philadelphia for quite a while but he also spent time training with the Montreal Impact. That being said, Coach Becher always has an uncanny way of finding guys who can score plus we may have players on loan from Philly that could fill the voids also. I would say it is not time to panic (still early in the pre-season) but it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Earlier we looked at a keeper who will be back, a keeper who might be back, now it is time to talk about a keeper who won't be back. Actually, he won't be back initially but might end up back in the long run. Confused? Let me try and explain. After spending time training with Philly and even dressing and warming up for them playing against Harrisburg in last year's annual friendly match, former City I[...]


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Philadelphia Union fans want to know more about Yann Ekra

Mon, 16 Sep 2013 14:52:30 UTC

2013-09-16T15:29:44Z

Once again I have received a bunch of emails from Union fans wanting to know a bit more about newly signed forward Yann Ekra. View full sizeYann Ekra playing on City Island earlier this season against the Rapids Reserves: photo by Derek Meluzio  Maybe the best way to learn about a person is to find out what he has... Once again I have received a bunch of emails from Union fans wanting to know a bit more about newly signed forward Yann Ekra. View full sizeYann Ekra playing on City Island earlier this season against the Rapids Reserves: photo by Derek Meluzio  Maybe the best way to learn about a person is to find out what he has in his fridge. Okay, maybe not but not too long ago I feature Yann on the blog in one of my "What's in your fridge?" entries. On a more serious note, below is some information about Yann and his career so far. He started his playing career in Lyon, France at the age of eleven. He was enrolled in their youth program while also going to school. At fourteen he started playing for the French National squad at the U15, U16, U17, and U18 levels. When he turned seventeen he signed his first professional contract with Hull City. After that he was on loan for six months to the first division Greek team Panionios in Athens. He then returned to Hull City after that and at the end of his contract with them he went back to France and signed with Chateauroux, a second division French team. The next chapter of his career took place stateside here in Harrisburg. Fans got their first taste of Yann when he destroyed the competion during the 2012 pre-season. After scoring goals in every pre-season match he had played in, he quickly signed with the club. Over the last two USL-PRO seasons he has played in 45 league matches scoring ten goals. He has scored many other goals for Harrisburg in Open Cup competion and in friendlies. View full sizeEkra warming up prior to the Open Cup match with Long Island: photo by Derek Meluzio  To stay in shape during the offseason he played indoor this past winter for the Harrisburg Heat. He adapted well to the indoor game and recorded seven goals in eleven games.    Though not the biggest guy on the field he is very strong and hard to knock off the ball. His abilities are not limited to just goal scoring. He dishes the ball off to other players well and has excellent vision. His fitness is top notch also. He is always prepared mentally and physically every time he steps on the field. Off the field he is one of the nicest guys on the team and is always very quick to sign autographs for fans with a huge smile. How much playing time he gets with Philadelphia is yet to be determined but he certainly deserves this opportunity. I know each and every HCI fans is behind him and with some playing time I know he can makje believers out of Union fans as well. Below are videos of two different goals Yann has scored. One was a big goal to tie the match against Rochester while the other was a goal in the U.S. Open Cup against Long Island. src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GYhNZtcXQKE" frameBorder=0 width=420 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Gpz8JrmKoTw" frameBorder=0 width=420 height=315 allowfullscreen> [...]


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Matt Bahner continuing strong rookie season with Harrisburg

Mon, 12 Aug 2013 17:03:48 UTC

2013-08-12T17:17:23Z

City Islander rookie Matt Bahner has experienced lots of "firsts" this season. It was his first as a pro player, he recorded his first pro assist, he bagged his first pro goal, and he even recently landed on the USL-PRO Team of the Week for the first time.   View full sizeMatt Bahner on City Island earlier in the season.... City Islander rookie Matt Bahner has experienced lots of "firsts" this season. It was his first as a pro player, he recorded his first pro assist, he bagged his first pro goal, and he even recently landed on the USL-PRO Team of the Week for the first time.   View full sizeMatt Bahner on City Island earlier in the season.   Matt made the team by not only showing his skill but also by showing his consistancy. Many players can show flashes of brilliant play but the key is to be able to do it over a long period of time. The season is long and Bill Becher loves to be able to use a player in different situations but still know he will get the same great response and results. Bahner has been a factor no matter what position he plays and he is having one heck of a rookie season.   In this Q&A Matt talks about where he played prior to joining Harrisburg, how he has enjoyed his time with the team so far, and what a few of his favorite moments as a player have been.       Upper 90- How have you enjoyed your time in Harrisburg so far this season?   Matt- I have enjoyed my time here in Harrisburg a whole lot. I am very humbled to be able to play the game that I love for a living. The City Islanders have a great fan base here in Harrisburg and it creates a great atmosphere when we play on the Island.   I believe everything in life happens for a reason and I could not ask for a better situation than the one I am currently in with the City Islanders.   Upper 90- Tell us where you have played during your career leading up to the current season with the City Islanders. Matt- This is my first year playing professionally, but I played collegiate soccer at the University of Cincinnati for 5 years. We played in the Big East Conference while I was there. I was captain for my last 2 years on the team. I redshirted my 4th year on the team due to an ACL/MCL tear that occurred during our spring season. I was named to the 2nd Team All-Big East my Junior (3rd) year while the team advanced to the Big East Tournament Semifinals for the first time in school history. Upper 90- During your career is there one moment or match that stands out as your favorite? Matt- Recently, two moments that stand out are when I got my first professional assist against the Dayton Dutch Lions as well as my first professional goal in the next game against Phoenix. Those are moments I definitely will never forget. Playing in the Big East Tournament Semifinal game was very exciting because we played the match at Red Bull Arena, so that was a great experience. The Big East quarterfinal game was also very exciting as we beat UCONN in PKs who was ranked in the Top 5 in the country at the time I believe, and we had never reached the Big East Semis in our school's history. Another moment that stands out was during my sophomore year I scored a diving header in overtime that was the winning goal against our rival, Xavier University. Those are just a few moments that stand out to me. ---------------------------------------------------- Thanks Matt and good luck during the rest of the season and into the playoffs.  [...]


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Nick Noble becomes the winningest keeper in City Islander history

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:58:54 UTC

2013-08-01T14:13:52Z

Nick Noble made three saves in the match against Phoenix to earn his 23rd career victory as an "Isles Guy". That makes him the winningest goalkeeper in Harrisburg City Islander history. Nick Noble on City Island mentally preparing for a match. photo by Derek Meluzio  Noble passed current assistant coach Dave Kern to take the honor. I always refer...

Nick Noble made three saves in the match against Phoenix to earn his 23rd career victory as an "Isles Guy". That makes him the winningest goalkeeper in Harrisburg City Islander history.

(image) Nick Noble on City Island mentally preparing for a match. photo by Derek Meluzio 

Noble passed current assistant coach Dave Kern to take the honor. I always refer to Kern, who is also the director of the HCI youth academy, as a City Islander legend. I think this means Nick has earned that title as well.

A great player on the field and a true professional off the field, Noble can always be counted on to make a huge save and then stick around afterwards and sign autographs and take pictures with fans.

His communication skills with the defense are one of his biggest assets as a keeper. His positioning is almost always spot on and often times he makes a tough save look routine.

Congrats Nick, good luck during the rest of the road trip.

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Harrisburg vs. Dayton match coverage with photos and video

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 13:03:37 UTC

2013-07-25T13:14:12Z

The City Islanders recorded a very convincing 5-1 victory last night against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Lucky Mkosana netted a hat trick and Jason Pelletier had two assists to lead the offensive charge. Mike Bullock has a comprehensive report on the match with loads of stats and great quotes. View full sizeHarrisburg during the national anthem prior to their... The City Islanders recorded a very convincing 5-1 victory last night against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Lucky Mkosana netted a hat trick and Jason Pelletier had two assists to lead the offensive charge. Mike Bullock has a comprehensive report on the match with loads of stats and great quotes. View full sizeHarrisburg during the national anthem prior to their match with Dayton.  The story of the night was lots of goals being scored by HCI. Earlier in the match though, Nick Noble came up big with a save keeping the score tied 1-1. Had he not made that save it could have been a very different story. That is what makes a keeper great. Making the big save at a key time and giving your team a chance to win any game on any given night. Noble may not have recorded a shutout but he was excellent. I pride myself on always trying to capture cool moments or great goals on video. Last night we scored five goals. You would think that would have given me plenty of chances to snag some on video. Well, that was not the case. I did get Mkosana and Andrews doing a little dance celebration though. Also got some match action and a great blast by Mellor. Those videos and a bunch of photos are below.  Former City Islander Brandon Swartzendruber returned to Skyline Sports Complex as a member of the Dutch Lions and played 24 minutes. src="//www.youtube.com/embed/E6zTv9ts1-E" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sNjmXzFy42o" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="//www.youtube.com/embed/H1GUICyU4X4" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen>Lucky was on fire recording three goals.Matt Bahner had a great night recording an assist. Pelletier had two assists. Very solid crowd for a Wednesday night match.Brandon Swartzendruber returned to City Island as a member of the Dutch Lions. Nick Noble focused and ready to take the field. [...]


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An in-depth look at the Harrisburg City Islander All-Decade Team and the memories they made

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:11:21 UTC

2013-07-24T16:53:28Z

The City Islanders recently released their All-Decade Team and also retired Dustin Bixler's number. Mike Bullock has some excellent coverage from those events. All players honored during the All-Decade Announcement,Ty Shipalane, Mo Oduor, and David Schofield prepare to take the field. photo by Derek Meluzio.  He breaks down the list of players who made the team and also the... The City Islanders recently released their All-Decade Team and also retired Dustin Bixler's number. Mike Bullock has some excellent coverage from those events. All players honored during the All-Decade Announcement,Ty Shipalane, Mo Oduor, and David Schofield prepare to take the field. photo by Derek Meluzio.  He breaks down the list of players who made the team and also the players who were awarded honorable mentions. He even did a great interview with Jason Pelletier. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some great memories by looking at video and photos of the players on the All_decade Team that I have enjoyed watching. I have been doing the blog since the pre-season of 2007 so I apologize to Shane Crawford for not including him in this entry. I never actually saw him wear the City Islander blue and white. Dustin Bixler is the first City Islander to have his number retired. He is a legend at Skyline Sports Complex for his leadership and his defensive play. That being said, I have got to post the video of his awesome goal against the Battery. Thanks for so many memories Dustin. It is still strange not to see him on the backline.  src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YdfhB3InDx4" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"> Brian Ombiji was the player in 2007 that got me totally hooked on the City Islanders. He is such a cool character off the field and such a hard worker on the field. Fans love him... myself included. Here is Brian celebrating a goal he scored during the playoffs a few years back against the LA Blues. Brian scored so many huge goals for Harrisburg including one in the 2007 championship match with Richmond. So many great goals and so many great smiles. Thanks Brian! src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mXpVhUirCZ4" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"> Chad Severs in my opinion was the most effective and prolific goal scorer we ever had. He had skill, he had a hard work ethic, and he was always in the right place at the right time. It wasn't luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. He used great positioning and great finishing.   Again, one of the nicest people you will ever meet off of the field, Chad was hugely popular with fans and many of you might not know this but he is also a world class mini golf player! Chad scored more goals then any other player in City Islander history. Below is one of those many goals. It is a PK against arch rivals Western Mass. src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XYshmMTJnKM" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"> Ty Shipalane is still playing and still scoring lots of goals. I can honestly say he might have been the most fun player to watch. His direct attack, speed, and his fancy footwork made for lots of tired and embarrased defenders. Below is a video of a him on City Island almost connecting on another goal. I did not record as many videos back then and the quality wasn't the greatest so sorry for that but it is still fun to see him in a City Islander uniform. src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ElPZdZKzoAY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"> Sainey Touray is another guy that loves to score and loves to celebrate and smile afterwards. He is a deadly attacker and can put the ball in the goal with his foot or his head. Below is a video of him scoring against FC New York. He holds the title for being the City Islander player with the bes[...]


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City Islander U23 and U20 squads continue impressive play following charity match with Newtown Pride FC

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:48:36 UTC

2013-07-24T13:12:48Z

Prior to the City Islander's U23 match with Newtown Pride FC I had quite a few readers email me with interest in learning more about the academy program and their results during the season. View full sizeThe City Islander U23 squad at Skyline Sports Complex for the benefit match with Newtown Pride FC.  That being said I wanted to... Prior to the City Islander's U23 match with Newtown Pride FC I had quite a few readers email me with interest in learning more about the academy program and their results during the season. View full sizeThe City Islander U23 squad at Skyline Sports Complex for the benefit match with Newtown Pride FC.  That being said I wanted to give an update on how the Harrisburg City Islander U23 and U20 teams have been doing since the charity match on City Island. I think many fans of the USL-PRO team were impressed with the level of play by the U23s and want to learn more about them. First off for the City Islander U20 squad They played a June 22nd away match at Triangle FC. HCI came home with a 3-2 victory. It was certainly a tale of two halves. At the end of the first half the HCI U20s led 3-0 and completely dominated play. They scored three goals from run of play and created other scoring opportunities. Towards the end of the half HCI took almost 100% possession with Triangle either too exhausted or discouraged to pressure the ball. The second half saw Triangle FC gain momentum (and maybe HCI backed off a bit with a huge lead) but none-the-less Harrisburg got the three points at the end of the day. Christian Rhine scored one goal and assisted on the two others (Tom Cronin and Bernard Avoulou). Evan Davis earned the assist on Rhine's goal. Up next was a June 28th home match vs. the Northern Virginia Royals. Again HCI came away with a victory, this time by a score of 5-1. Goals were scored by Cam Alexander (2), Keanan Wilson (2), and Jackson Corrigan (1). The final U20 update is for their July 10th match with Virginia Alliance. Harrisburg won 4-1 but it was a much closer and tougher match then the score suggests. Cam Alexander had two goals one of which was on a PK. Keanan Wilson and Christian Rhine netted the others. View full sizeNewtown Pride FC & the City Islanders U23 teams during the national anthem  Now for an update on the U23 squad... On June 22nd they played an away match against Philly United. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. It was a very even game with the score 1-1 at half and 2-2 at the end. Harrisburg did score first, Philly then scored second, HCI scored again, and Philly tied it up. The first goal for HCI went to Eric McGinnis assisted by Nick Ferguson. McGinnis scored again off of a scramble in the box following a corner kick. If you recall, McGinnis is the player who netted the first goal of the match against Newtown Pride FC (see video below). The team followed that match up with a June 29th game at home against Philly United. This time Philly United edged out the HCI U23's by a score of 1-2. In the first half Philly scored quickly after kick off due to a mistake between the defenders and the keeper. HCI recovered quickly and scored 9 minutes later. HCI had a few other opportunities but just couldn't finish. In the second half Harrisburg lost control of the game and Philly United scored with about 25 minutes left in the match to make it 2-1. I hope to have another update on the U23 and U20 squads soon. Below are a few videos from the match on City Island that was part of the double header benefit for Newtown Pride FC. The first video shows Eric McGinnis scoring while the other videos show some match action, player intros, and more.   src="//www.youtube.com/embed/UAeOnjyjYPI" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="//www[...]


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"Upper 90" Q&A with keeper Brian Sylvestre

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:41:50 UTC

2013-06-26T13:01:26Z

Brian Sylvestre joined the City Islanders for 2013 after spending a few seasons playing for Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Brian Sylvestre on City Island playing against Philadelphia.   Along with Nick Noble and David Flynn he completes what I feel is the stongest set of keepers in the entire league. Having so many great keepers and such a solid depth chart in goal is great...

Brian Sylvestre joined the City Islanders for 2013 after spending a few seasons playing for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

(image) Brian Sylvestre on City Island playing against Philadelphia.  

Along with Nick Noble and David Flynn he completes what I feel is the stongest set of keepers in the entire league. Having so many great keepers and such a solid depth chart in goal is great for the team but it can cause a bit of a problem when it comes to playing time.

After Flynn got the start for the U23 squad against Newtown Pride FC Brian got his chance to show the City Islander fans what he is capable of when coach Becher played him in the annual friendly match with the Union.

Sylvestre played all 90 minutes against Philadelphia and did a great job making multiple saves.

In this "Upper 90" Q&A Brian tells us about where he has played in the past, what it was like playing against Beckham, and what he thinks of his time in Harrisburg so far.   

Upper 90- First off, can you tell the fans where you have played during your career leading up to joining Harrisburg for 2013?

Brian- Well before I came to Harrisburg I played professionally for three years in Vancouver. I played two years in MLS and one year in the NASL.

Upper 90- During your career have you had one match or one moment that stands out as your favorite?

Brian- When I played my First professional preseason game with Vancouver against the LA Galaxy. It was a very exiting game for me. Playing against London Donovan and David Beckham. It was pretty cool.

Upper 90- How have you enjoyed your time with Harrisburg so far?

Brian- Harrisburg is a very nice city. It’s totally different then Miami. I’m enjoying myself a lot here.

Upper 90- Tell us about the recent match playing against Philadelphia. Did you have fun? How do you feel you played?

Brian- Yeah, I had a lot of fun. It felt good to get a full match in. I thought I played well. The goals they scored were good goals. I could have not done anything about them.

Thanks Brian and good luck during the rest of the season.

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City Islanders vs. Union match coverage with video and photos

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:53:21 UTC

2013-06-19T13:09:54Z

The threat of rain may have kept a few people away last night but the ones who did make it out saw a great night of soccer. In fact, the rain held off right until the final whistle. View full sizeHarrisburg and Philadelphia headed out to the field for player introductions.  In the end Philadelphia came away with a... The threat of rain may have kept a few people away last night but the ones who did make it out saw a great night of soccer. In fact, the rain held off right until the final whistle. View full sizeHarrisburg and Philadelphia headed out to the field for player introductions.  In the end Philadelphia came away with a 4-2 victory over Harrisburg. Mike Bullock has an excellent write up with many details and quotes from the match. This match really is win win for everyone as getting to see players like Le Toux, McInerney, and Carroll on City Island is a treat for local Union fans while Harrisburg fans get to see our guys go up against an MLS side. Here are a few cool tidbits that I enjoyed from a City Islander fan perspective.Obviously as always, it is great seeing Sheanon Williams return to City Island. I know MANY City Islander fans enjoyed seeing him and they all wish him continued success at the MLS level and beyond. Much like we saw a few years back with JT Noone, it was awesome seeing Jimmy McLaughlin and Cris Hernandez play the first half for Harrisburg and the second half for Philadelphia. That is one of the cool things about a friendly match with your affiliate. Basso scoring on a PK was great. He never misses those opportunities and he pocketed one last night. The Touray goal was an excellent finish and it was the result of nice give and go passing with Lucky.After seeing David Flynn play for the City Islander U23 team against Newtown Pride FC it was great seeing Brian Sylvestre get some quality playing minutes also. He made five saves in the match. Speaking of Flynn, Nick Noble got the night off so Flynn dressed and was the back up for Sylvestre. Another keeper to mention is Brian Holt. He played for Harrisburg last season and is currently training with Philadelphia. He dressed for the Union and participated in warm ups. Antoine Hoppenot, another former "Isles Guy", scored one of the goals for Philadelphia with an assist to Fernandes who also has seen playing time for HCI in the past. Speaking of players with connection to Harrisburg, Aaron Wheeler and Don Anding both also played for Philly. Alex Mendoza, who has trained with Philly in the past played for Harrisburg in the second half. The City Islanders also played Antonio Bua, Alvi Fakou, and Joey Julius as guest players. In the end it was an excellent night of soccer for the fans and players alike. It also proved to be yet another great way that the affiliation between the two clubs is paying dividends.   Below area few videos from the match and photos. You can see more photos on the blog's Flickr page. src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hMs-WtfIbqE" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_P_WiapCivg" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oVQc_lMsJ5Q" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> [...]


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Newtown Pride FC vs. City Islanders U23 match coverage: Video & Photos

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:44:57 UTC

2013-06-18T19:41:47Z

Newtown Pride FC and the the City Islanders U23 academy team put on a great show during the second match of the Father's Day double header at Skyline Sports Complex on City Island yesterday. View full sizeNewtown Pride FC & the City Islanders U23 teams during the national anthem.  The City Islanders U23 team prevailed 2-0 on the scoreboard, but... Newtown Pride FC and the the City Islanders U23 academy team put on a great show during the second match of the Father's Day double header at Skyline Sports Complex on City Island yesterday. View full sizeNewtown Pride FC & the City Islanders U23 teams during the national anthem.  The City Islanders U23 team prevailed 2-0 on the scoreboard, but in the end it was the Newtown Parent Connection who came out the true winner. Speaking of the Newtown Parent Connection, if you were not able to attend yesterday's match and you would like to make a donation to benefit the Newtown and Sandy Hook communities you may do so by going to their website. Fans can also follow Newtown Pride FC during the rest of their season by either following the team's Twitter page or "liking" their Facebook page. I spoke to lots of fans during the match and the first thing many of them said was that they were very impressed with the level of play from Newtown. They also made comments about just how friendly everyone involved with Newtown Pride FC were and how they liked supporting a great cause especially when people like the Svanda family are the ones promoting it.   Newtown was buzzing in the offensive zone for much of the match. The City Islanders did a great job in the back forcing many of the opportunities to come from outside but Rafeal Barroso in particular was dangerous all night. David Flynn came up with some nice saves for Harrisburg and the second U23 squad keeper did as well. Speaking of the keepers, Newtown goalie Ryan McDonald was also tested often and he kept the score close with multiple saves of his own. You can see video of the City Islander goal by Eric McGinnis below. I hope to update this entry with more details soon. Danny DiPrima was just as advertised and did a great job in the midfield for Harrisburg. I talked with DiPrima after the match (another great guy to talk with) and he mentioned how the team was excited to play and how he thought both teams played a hard fought game. Matt Svanda from Newtown Pride FC is another example of a guy who is a great player on the field as well as a nice person off the field. He was an impact player for much of the 90 minute contest. Harrisburg fans may see Newtown Pride FC back on City Island in the near future. The club came one win away from qualifying for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this year. Their goal is to make it into the tourney in 2014 and go head to head with PDL and USL-PRO teams just like the Brooklyn Italians did a few years back. In the end fans got to see the U23's featured in a major match which is not something that happens often plus we got to see a great team in Newtown Pride FC visit City Island. It was truly a great day of soccer and a great way to spend Father's Day while supporting an amazing cause.   src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tzzI3v5l-9s" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0m2j-V-I1gE" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QRW2saR3Flg" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UAeOnjyjYPI" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 allowfullscreen> src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IAzzqMMBFw8" frameBorder=0 width=560 height=315 [...]


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Newtown Pride FC and City Islanders U23 benefit match to feature talented group of players

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 20:17:36 UTC

2013-06-14T20:49:43Z

When you come to Skyline Sports Complex this Sunday for the City Islanders academy vs. Newtown Pride FC match you will be supporting a great cause. You will also see some great soccer and maybe catch a glimpse into the future of the City Islanders USL-PRO team. View full size  The Harrisburg City Islanders U23 squad is coached by Rhett Goldsmith... When you come to Skyline Sports Complex this Sunday for the City Islanders academy vs. Newtown Pride FC match you will be supporting a great cause. You will also see some great soccer and maybe catch a glimpse into the future of the City Islanders USL-PRO team. View full size  The Harrisburg City Islanders U23 squad is coached by Rhett Goldsmith and along with Gregg Davis the two coaches are really doing an amazing job of identifying local talent and developing potential future first team players for the Islanders. The current U23 roster is made up of twenty one U23 players and five U20 players. The team that will play on Sunday is made up of 9 NCAA DI, 6 NCAA DII, 6 NCAA DIII, and 2 club players. When you look down the City Islander pro team roster you see players from Gambia, Zimbabwe, and the Ivory Coast. You will also see players from places such as Carlisle, Middletown, and Lititz. That just shows what an amazing job the team does with utilizing homegrown local talent. Goldsmith himself is very qualified and experienced having coached at the New York Red Bulls academy, Newcastle United FC, and Aberdeen FC in Scotland. He also has extensive time as the man behind the bench in the college ranks at Dickinson College, Long Island University, Albright College, Muhlenberg College, and more. View full sizeDavid Flynn prior to the City Islanders 2013 home opener.   One player fans will recognize on the academy team right away will be David Flynn. The U23 squad's regular keeper is unable to make the match. In an effort to award some important minutes to Flynn (who sits with Brian Sylvestre behind Nick Noble on the team's depth chart) he will be given the start in goal against Newtown. Another player you may not recognize now but may recognize in the future is Danny DiPrima. The midfielder for Goldsmith attends NC State and has even earned "a call up" to the USL-PRO first team for a look during training sessions. He is a dynamic player that Goldsmith believes can take him to the next level following college. Newtown Pride FC come into the match featuring multiple players with experience at the college level also. Especially important is the fact they also have many players on the team who are from the Newtown area. Their coach is Mike Svanda and his son Matt is also on the team. Matt is not only an excellent player on the field but off the field he is heavily involved with helping promote the Newtown Parent Connection. Matt is a graduate of Newtown high school.   One player, Brain Conroy, even attended Sandy Hook elementary as a child. I believe he played his college ball nearby at Gettysburg. I mentioned in a recent post that Newtown Pride FC are a very capable opponent and the level of play will be high. Newtown almost qualified this year for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. They narrowly missed out by losing a match in the last qualifying round. I would imagine that they would be very comparable in ability to the Brooklyn Italians who were the USASA squad the City Islanders faced a few years back in the Open Cup. Watch the video below, how can you not want to support this team? What a great group of players. Again though, with it being a benefit friendly match the result on the scoreboard won't matter. That being said, competitors are competit[...]


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Former City Islander Ty Shipalane leads Carolina past Chivas USA

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 20:51:40 UTC

2013-06-14T20:27:15Z

You could make the argument that Ty Shipalane is the most entertaining player who ever put on a City Islander jersey. His footwork, his speed, his accuracy, this guy is fun to watch and he is an effective goal scorer and playmaker. View full sizeTy Shipalane while playing for Harrisburg: photo by Sean Simmers, The Patriot-News  Some called last night's Lamar Hunt...

You could make the argument that Ty Shipalane is the most entertaining player who ever put on a City Islander jersey. His footwork, his speed, his accuracy, this guy is fun to watch and he is an effective goal scorer and playmaker.

(image) View full sizeTy Shipalane while playing for Harrisburg: photo by Sean Simmers, The Patriot-News 

Some called last night's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action the Dwayne De Rosario show. He netted three goals in DC United's 3-1 defeat of the Union. You could also call it the Shipalane show. Ty played an amazing match scoring a goal and setting up another as his Carolina Railhawks went on to upset Chivas USA 3-1. Brian Ackley, another former City Islander, also scored in the match. 

De Rosario was amazing and he was pretty much the main reason DC United prevailed over Philadelphia. In that match Sheanon Williams, Jack McInerney, Don Anding, Leo Fernandes, and Antoine Hoppenot all played for the Union. Each of those players as you know have played at least one game in the past for Harrisburg.

In other action the Battery lost 5-2 in OT to Real Salt Lake. Despite the loss, former "Isles Guy" Nicki Paterson scored one of the two goals for Charleston.

Check out highlights from the match including Ty's goal below. 

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Newtown Pride FC add special meaning to soccer doubleheader this Sunday on City Island

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:31:02 UTC

2013-06-12T18:55:47Z

I have said it before, and I will say it again. In the end, it isn't about the soccer... it is all about the people. The Father's Day doubleheader will include the City Islander's USL-PRO team, Antigua Barracuda, Harrisburg's U23 academy squad and Newtown Pride FC.   A huge celebration of soccer and fun is set for Father's Day this...

I have said it before, and I will say it again. In the end, it isn't about the soccer... it is all about the people.

(image) The Father's Day doubleheader will include the City Islander's USL-PRO team, Antigua Barracuda, Harrisburg's U23 academy squad and Newtown Pride FC.  

A huge celebration of soccer and fun is set for Father's Day this Sunday at Skyline Sports Complex on City Island. Harrisburg will be hosting a doubleheader featuring our own City Islanders USL-PRO team playing a league match with Antigua Barracuda followed right away by a benefit match between the City Islanders U23 Academy squad and Newtown Pride FC.

A portion of the ticket sales will be given back to Newtown Pride FC and the Newtown Parent Connection. There will be limited edition t-shirts on sale with the profits also going to the Newtown Parent Connection.

After the tragic events on December 14th at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT there became a greater need for family and youth peer support for both mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. Newtown Parent Connection, which has been supporting the local community for over 20 years is heavily involved with offering as much help as possible to those in need.

(image) These limited edition t-shirts will be on sale during the day with proceeds going to Newtown Parent Connection. 

Newtown Pride FC is a team that plays in the Connecticut Soccer League first division. They were founded in 1998 by Mike Svanda. They are playing their own league matches but also traveling around playing in top level matches raising money and awareness.

They nearly qualified to be one of the eight amateur clubs to play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this year. They lost to Mass Premier Soccer and just missed out on being one of the USASA teams in the tourney.

I posted a video below that really talks a lot about the team, the community, and their goal. After watching the video you can not help but want to support the club and their efforts.

Yes, getting a victory against Antigua and earning three points in the standings is important but at the end of the day being apart of such a great cause and watching our academy team play Newtown Pride FC will be awesome.

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