Preview: Harrisburg v. Real Maryland
Real Maryland travels to Harrisburg, PA this weekend for a Saturday night showdown with the defending USL-2 champions, the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Following back to back home wins, the Monarchs take to the highway for the third road game of their inaugural season. Real Maryland is still looking for its first ever victory away from the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Harrisburg, meanwhile, is looking for its first win of the season, but Real Maryland head coach Silvino Gonzalo knows that the City Islanders 0-1-5 start is not a proper indication of the team they will face come kick-off time. “You can not go by their record,” Gonzalo said. “They are a very talented team and it will be a tough game for us.” This is after all, the team that dumped DC United out of last year’s US Open Cup to advance to the quarter finals.
The Pennsylvania outfit has faced a tough opening slate including two games against Cleveland and two contests against perennial powerhouse Charlotte. In fact, the City Islanders have only lost one game this season, a 1-0 home reverse in their first meeting with the Charlotte Eagles.
The City Islanders return to action well rested after two weeks off since its May 16-17 trip to North Carolina where Harrisburg played both Charlotte and Wilmington to 1-1 draws.
Other then defender Anthony Calvano, Harrisburg Coach Bill Becher has a full squad to choose from including three new signings that have taken place since the City Islanders last match. Yu Hoshide and Yuki Stalph join the Islanders from teams in Japan and Germany respectively while local product Geoff Bloes signs his first ever professional contract.
Excluding midfielder Bairon Ferrufino, who is out for the season, the Monarchs will also have a full squad to choose from. After missing three games with a knee injury, Philippe Bissohong has had a solid week of training and Coach Gonzalo must now decide whether to include him on the 18-man roster for the short trip up to the Pennsylvania capital.
Gonzalo also described captain Ronald Cerritos as 85-90 percent, but expects the Salvadorian to be included on the team-sheet come game time.
Despite being on the El Salvador roster for tomorrow night’s friendly in Washington DC with Guatemala, midfielder Dennis Alas will travel with the team to Harrisburg and is expected to be on the field come kick off time.
A first road win would propel Real Maryland above .500 for the first time in team history. In order to do so, the team must first make it off the Island.
Real Maryland fans are encouraged to make the short drive to Harrisburg to root the Monarchs on to another victory!
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