HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS 1, LOS ANGELES BLUES 0
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Harrisburg City Islanders claimed the final place in the USL PRO Playoffs on Sunday night as Yann Ekra’s second-half goal earned a 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Blues at Titan Stadium. The City Islanders jumped past the Charlotte Eagles into the No.6 seed after the Eagles fell 2-1 to the Wilmington Hammerheads earlier on Sunday night.
The Blues had the better of the first half, and City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble had to be sharp to keep his side even at the break. Harrisburg had chances of their own, but they were unable to test Blues goalkeeper Jose Miranda properly, leaving the game scoreless.
The Blues came close to opening the scoring early in the opening minute of the second half, only for the City Islanders to scramble the ball away. Los Angeles continued to create more chances, but it was Harrisburg that found the back of the net in the 65th minute as a good cut-back from Lucky Mkosana found second-half substitute Ekra for a close-range finish. The Blues were then reduced to 10 men with eight minutes to go as Maykel Galindo was shown a red card. Unlike Friday night’s contest, though, the City Islanders were able to hold on against the 10-man Blues and clinch their place in the USL PRO Playoffs.
The City Islanders will travel to visit the No.3 seed Charleston Battery next Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium.
Islanders record is 10-7-7. This is the same record as last year when Islanders landed in the Championship in Orlando.
FROM USL PRO:
USL PRO Playoff Quarterfinals Set
Hammerheads, City Islanders complete playoff field on final day of season
TAMPA, Fla. – The USL PRO Playoffs field was set on Sunday night, as the Wilmington Hammerheads and Harrisburg City Islanders claimed the final two playoff places on the final day of the regular season earlier on Sunday. Sunday’s results left Orlando City and the Rochester Rhinos as the top two teams in USL PRO’s regular season, earning the two teams a bye to the semifinals on the weekend of August 31-September 2.
The Rhinos claimed the second bye to the semifinals as the Richmond Kickers were upended 2-0 by Antigua Barracuda FC, with the bottom club in USL PRO ending their season on a high through first-half goals by Quinton Griffith and Randolph Burton. The Kickers instead will claim the No.4 seed in the playoffs, and will host the No.5 seed Wilmington Hammerheads next Saturday night at City Stadium at 7 p.m.
The Hammerheads clinched their place in the playoffs as they took a 2-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles on Sunday night in a contest that weather forced to be rescheduled from Friday night. Corey Hertzog and Steven Perry scored for the Hammerheads, with Perry’s goal coming 13 minutes from full time after he had been brought on as a substitute.
Charlotte was then knocked out of the playoffs as Harrisburg took a 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Blues to claim the No.6 seed and a contest with the No.3 seed Charleston Battery next Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. Second-half substitute Yann Ekra scored the only goal of the game in the 66th minute for the City Islanders, who moved one point ahead of the Eagles with their victory.
Orlando City and the Rochester Rhinos will face the two quarterfinals winners the following weekend, with the lower remaining seed traveling to face the regular-season champion Lions, and the higher remaining seed travelling to face the Rhinos. Both semifinals will be played on Friday, August 31, with the Lions hosting at the Florida Citrus Bowl at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Rhinos hosting at 7:35 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium.
For live updates from both of this weekend’s quarterfinals, plus news, features, previews and game reports from throughout USL PRO, follow the league on Twitter (@USLPRO) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/USLPRO). A full schedule for this weekend’s action can be found below.
USL PRO PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
Saturday, August 25
No.5 Wilmington Hammerheads at No.4 Richmond Kickers, 7 p.m. ET
No.6 Harrisburg City Islanders at No.3 Charleston Battery, 7:30 p.m. ET, USLNation
Friday, August 31
Lower remaining seed at No.1 Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. ET, USLNation
Higher remaining seed at No.2 Rochester Rhinos, 7:35 p.m. ET, USLNation
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 11 teams in 2012 and an unprecedented six teams with more than a decade of operational experience. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and USSF standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is affiliated with the USSF.
USL Public Relations - Jay Preble / Seth Witkowicz / Nicholas Murray - Tampa, FL - 813.963.3909 - Twitter: @USLPRO