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Match Preview: Harrisburg City Islanders

The Men in Purple have won 2 road games so far this season and will look to make it a third when they travel to Harrisburg on Friday. The City Islanders are 1-2-0 this season so far after losses to Charlotte and Richmond to start the season, then winning last weekend (thanks to some officiating and red cards) at Orlando City B. Louisville City’s visit to Harrisburg coincides with the team’s home opener.

Keys for Harrisburg City Islanders:

Three different players have scored a goal for the City Islanders so far this season so:

  1. Defense is going to be their main key to win as they haven’t played the best defense this year allowing 5 goals in 3 games, and they only shut out OCB. With the attacking prowess of LCFC, Harrisburg is going to have to play bunker defense and keep LCFC out of the box if they wish to stand a chance.
  2. Harrisburg’s wing midfielders are going to have to play more defense than offense as we have seen so far how deadly LCFC is from the wings.
  3. Get an early goal, as it seems in 2 games so far LCFC haven’t found a way to play defense in the first 15 minutes of the game. The problem with the early goal strategy is that LCFC has responded with 2 or more goals so far after they fall behind. If Harrisburg City plays like they did at home last year [Editor’s note: the Matt-trick game excepted] I do expect a rather tight affair.
  4. They need to limit the opportunities that LCFC have to run with the ball. As with playing defense, limiting the movement of the ball when LCFC has the ball is a big key. FCC did it and controlled the game for the first 20 minutes or so before a momentum shifting penalty resulted in LCFC getting fire under their boots. Pressure the ball and pressure every pass and LCFC will make mistakes for them to capitalize on, and get opportunities at the goal.

Keys for Louisville City:

So far, LCFC has shown it doesn’t need Matt Fondy to score goals as we have found the net 8 times in 4 games. Only Los Angeles Galaxy 2 have more with 10.

  1. Defense needs to be solid early, and continued through the duration of the game. As we saw with OCB and FCC’s early goals, Elsie can be exploited early in games. Luckily the team responded well in both games and got a W.
  2. LCFC needs to press the attack as Chandler Hoffman is hot on the Fondy trail. We may see another golden boot winner in LCFC if he keeps his form. Hoffman is coming off a spectacular performance against those Cincinnati wannabes. Attacking early and often will set the tempo for the game.
  3. Run the wings. So far it has worked for several goals, so why stop it now? Running the wings tires the midfielders on the other side and the defenders and with Louisville City’s pace its hard for any team to keep up. Cincinnati had height over our players but Louisville beat them with pace and athleticism.
  4. Anyway Attack! Attack! Attack! Harrisburg City has yet to find an answer for a strong attacking team.

Prediction:

Harrisburg 0-3 Louisville City

Many of our predictions have been close games but it think this one will be Louisville City FC’s to lose. I expect Harrisburg to get opportunities but Scott Goodwin needs to add a shutout having only 1 this season away at Charlotte. Louisville is top of the Easter Conference right now and needs to send a message to the rest of the eastern conference that we are the team to beat, by beating Harrisburg at home by several goals! Come on you men in purple!!!