Save Our Soccer Team! The Harrisburg City Islanders
It all began in 2004. Club unveiled on Sept. 24, 2003, in a press conference at Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed's office. Bill Becher introduced as team's first head coach…David Bascome became first player signed on Dec. 16, 2003…First match: a 5-2 road win over the Northern Virginia Royals on Apr. 17, 2004. Steve Fisher scored club's first goal in the fifth minute…Standing room only crowd of 2,832 attended first game at Skyline Sports Complex, a 1-0 win over PittsburghRiverhounds on May 8.
Since then, The Islanders have gone on to win 1 USL 2 Championship, 2 USL Pro Championship Finalist showings in 2011 & 2014. The team has also had no less than two losing season in 11 years. The truth of the matter is that the team's only coach Bill Becher has always seemed to do more with less, and never thought of going elsewhere when his credentials surely could have provided him the opportunity.
Not-to-mention the countless number of athletes that have played here that have come from many countries throughout the world. Many have even taken up residence in the area, and become part of the surrounding communities. They continue to shape the youth by coaching clubs, holding camps, and even getting High School Soccer coaching jobs. Also, over the years that the Islander's have been in existence, Coach Becher has funneled many players through to the top level professional league- Major League Soccer. At a time when the United States is trying to show the world that we can compete at a high level in “The Beautiful Game", we should be constantly building a new generation of players to take the reins, and one day lead us to prominence throughout the world. Even though that whole excerpt sounds very prodigious, it would be nice to know that this team based in Harrisburg, PA had a hand in doing so (no matter how minimal or considerable).
Bottom line- it's the right thing to do. Lancaster, York, and Reading (to name a few) all have venues for sports & concerts (indoor and/ or outdoor). These cities are NOT the capital of Pennsylvania, yet, they are- upstaging the 'Burg. I believe this city has more to offer than those others named before- the skyline, the history, and a passion for family fun & entertainment. Every year the Island brings many visitors from near and far to partake in numerous types of events held there. All we are asking is to give this soccer team something that is of a better standard and quality, and something that represents the backing that this city should have for such a classy organization. In closing, just please stop coming up with excuses, and start focusing on all the possibilities that can become reality, and SAVE OUR SOCCER TEAM! The Harrisburg City Islanders.
***If you agree with any part of this sentiment, please sign your name to the petition below!***
Danny Shrawder & Evan Shrawder