New England Soccer Today

Scouting Report: Harrisburg City Islanders

Harrisburg will be relying on keeper Nick Noble to keep the Revolution off the board on Tuesday. (Photo: Derek Meluzio/pennlive.com)

(Editor’s note: Prior to each Revolution match, New England Soccer Today will invite a reporter who covers the Revolution’s upcoming opponent to provide greater insight on what to expect on gameday.

This week, Derek Meluzio from Pennlive.com was kind enough to share his insight on the Harrisburg City Islanders and what the Revolution can expect on Tuesday at Skyline Sport Complex.)

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New England Soccer Today: What has been the City Islanders form so far this season?

Derek Meluzio: HCI has really come alive of late. We had a bit of a slow start to the season but have really put together a string of solid results in the last few weeks.

We started the USL PRO season on the road for two matches then made our way home. Due to scheduling quirks when we played our home opener it was only our third match of the season yet for our opponent the Charlotte Eagles it was their sixth match. We started the season OK, but obviously we needed quality minutes and time on the field together to jell which is now starting to show with a string of solid results.

What things have the City Islanders done especially well so far this season?

We have gotten excellent goalkeeping from Nick Noble. He hasn’t had to made lots of saves but the ones he has made have been at key times in the match. Most important though, he is a great quarterback for our backline. He communicates well with them and it has shown with a good number of shutouts in league play and in the second round of the US Open Cup.

Which areas still need improvement?

You can always improve and I don’t think there is one glaringly obvious position we need to work on… maybe just fine tune all facets of our game and maintain it over the course of the season.

The City Islanders and Revs have played some pretty intense USOC games in recent years. Do you expect more of the same on Tuesday, or do you think the Islanders will let bygones be bygones?

There is always turnover in pro sports especially in our league. Although many local Central Pennsylvania players tend to settle in and play for HCI over multiple seasons, two key players from those previous matches retired this off season. Geoff Bloes and David Schofield were huge parts of those previous matches and both guys are not with the City Islanders this season. Our captain from those matches, Dustin Bixler, is injured right now so not many guys starting tonight were around back then. I know Brian Ombiji our speedy forward may be out there and he was with us in 07 and 09.

Which players on the City Islanders’ side should in particular should the Revs pay particular attention to?

No one guy really stands out. I think that has been the key to our success lately.

What are some of things that the City Islanders will try to do Tuesday night to stack the odds in their favor?

Not sure on that one but home field advantage and being more used the playing surface/pitch may be an advantage for HCI.

What is their likely starting 11 against the Revs?

I would bet we will have Nick Noble in goal, Bilal Duckett, Tom Brandt, Andrew Marshall, Stephen Basso in the back. JT Noone, Jason Pelletier, Morgan Langley, Andrew Welker in the middle, and Sainey Touray and Brian Ombiji up front

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Derek Meluzio is the author of The Upper 90 blog, which covers the Harrisburg City Islanders for Pennlive.com.

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