Game: Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Date: Saturday, September 19th
Venue: Skyline Sports Complex
On Saturday, The Harrisburg City Islanders will host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the last game of the regular season. This will be the most important game of the season for the Islanders as it will possibly determine the last two playoff spots for the USL playoffs. Should the Islanders win, they will secure a playoff spot and can hypothetically advance on a tie should the Charlotte Independence lose to the Charleston Battery by 8+ goals. Pittsburgh can only advance to the playoffs with a win against the Islanders but would not go on a draw.
Just name the USL team Bethlehem Steel FC already
The USL team is going to be called Bethlehem Steel FC. You know it and I know it. I don't pretend to be a detective here, but it's pretty plain to see.
Pittsburgh has had the better of the Islanders so far this season with 2 home wins, but the Islanders did defeat Pittsburgh in their most recent game at the Skyline Sports Complex. The Islanders and Pittsburgh have been pretty evenly matched since the USL renamed themselves the USL Pro league in 2011, with Harrisburg winning 6 games and Pittsburgh winning 5. There have also been 2 draws.
Each team has a player who is in the top 10 for goals this season. Pittsburgh striker Rob Vincent has tallied 18 goals in 26 games while Harrisburg City Islanders striker Jason Plumhoff has scored 10 goals in 21 appearances. Plumhoff has also tallied the 10th most assists in the league with 6 assists. Pittsburgh player Matshidisho Moloto has assisted 7 goals. Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble is also tied for 9th in saves this season with 74 and tied for 3rd in shutouts with 9 on the season.
This matchup has typically produced a lot of goals (55 goals in 13 games) and the stakes will be high, so I am anticipating a lot of goals, but for Harrisburg to come out with the win and secure a playoff spot for the 5th year in a row.