Featured / Harrisburg City Islanders / Local / US Open Cup / USL

Streaking Islanders

The unlucky bounces, close calls, and heartbreakers have eased up on the Islanders for the time-being—the Islanders have enjoyed a few weeks in the sun. After posting one win in their first 11 games of the season, the Islanders have won their last three USL-2 contests—over Charlotte once and Real Maryland twice.

They are also in the midst of a quarterfinal run in the U.S. Open Cup posting wins over the Brooklyn Italians, Long Island Rough Riders, and the New York Red Bulls of MLS. Despite needing overtime to dispatch NYRB, the Islanders are the last USL team alive in this year’s Open Cup and are on a collision course with the struggling DC United on July 21st.

Their run of form in USL-2 play has moved the Islanders from 6th to 4th in the league table and their Open Cup run has already won them a payout for being the last lower division team left. The Islanders have posted six straight wins in all competitions and look to keep rolling as they head out to Pittsbugh on July 17th.

Development Report:

With each game I have attended this season I have been more and more impressed by the play of Goalkeeper Danny Cepero. Once the New York Red Bulls starter in place of Jon Conway, Danny continues to impress on the island and his leadership at the back continues to prove decisive. Cepero turns in at least a few terrific saves each game and his willingness to come out and challenge for the aerial ball makes the Islanders 18 a difficult one to attack with crosses. Danny turned 25 this past May and I would not be surprised to see him back in an MLS kit within the next few seasons.

Since signing with the Islanders full time, JT Noone has been a visible presence in the middle of the park. In 12 USL games this season he has logged more than 1,000 minutes, contributing two assists and orchestrating many more chances. His confidence on the ball provides excellent tempo to the game as he looks to make the right pass rather than just a pass. He also plays box-to-box and harasses would be attackers as often as he can be seen leading a counter-attack. Many fans were disappointed to not see JT in a Union kit this season as he was the last trailist left in camp, but his time with the Islanders has been both productive and positive.

A newer face for the Islanders is defender #18 Tyler Ruthven. Tyler got his first action of this USL campaign on Saturday night in the Islanders 3-2 defeat of Real Maryland. His goal off of an Islanders corner really opened up the game in the 17th minute and he saw 60 solid minutes of action before being subbed off. Tyler is one of the mid-season signings by the City Islanders and looks like a player to watch over the coming weeks.

Notes:

If you are in the capitol area, one for your notes is the coming exhibition with Philadelphia Union. Nowak’s men will face the Islanders on City Island Tuesday, July 27th at 7pm. Tickets are available through the team website. As always, check www.cityislanders.com for more info, game times, and features.

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