After several days of hints and teases (and maybe a few unintentional leaks), Harrisburg finally revealed the big surprises that will determine the future of the club with a series of coordinated press releases and reveals on social media. Long story short, starting in 2018 the Harrisburg City Islanders shall be known as Penn FC.
But wait, there’s more. Along with the total rebrand and shiny new logo, Penn FC will be entering what’s being called a “major agreement” with youth soccer organization Rush Soccer. It’s a significant step forward that will be beneficial to both groups. Rush now has a professional team that their best players around the world can aspire to join and Penn FC has expanded their academy exponentially.
All of this information matches quite closely with what was coming out Tuesday night with only a few key differences. Several individuals assumed that Rush’s involvement meant that Harrisburg had been sold, but this is not the case. Majority owner George Altirs remains in place for Penn FC as well as local owner Eric Pettis.
Another rumor that was making the rounds on Tuesday was that the club would rebrand as Penn FC 2018 and completely separate themselves from the history of the Harrisburg City Islanders. However, Penn FC will maintain the history of the City Islanders, such as their 2007 USL Second Division championship and their appearances in the USL Cup in 2011 and 2014.
For now, many additional details are up in the air. The team will remain at FNB Field through at least 2018, but the period beyond that is uncertain. Also, there’s been no announcement about any coaching changes, so it appears that Bill Becher will continue coaching with the team next year. Further information about the team’s new kits and roster should be released in the coming months.
We’ll be right here to keep you up to date on that information as it comes out. For now, please enjoy these former Rush Soccer players who are sending their best wishes to the new Penn FC: