On Saturday, TFC II ended their recent three game slide, with a 2-1 late win against the veteran Richmond Kickers. Substitute Mo Babouli's 74th minute goal tied it up at one, and Massimo Mirabelli's second goal of the season in the 90th minute was all the young Reds needed to earn their fifth win of the season.
Now, TFC II looks to do something they haven't done all season, earn back-to-back wins. The team that they will look to to earn a second straight win, the seventh placed Harrisburg City Islanders. The two have yet to face each other this season, which may prove to be a little difficult for both sides.
Who Are the Harrisburg City Islanders?
The Islanders were founded in 2004 and have been a playoff team in the new USL since its creation in 2011. They won the USL Second Division title in just their fourth season. They finalists in the USL Pro's first season and again last year, losing 2-0 to eventual winners Sacramento Republic.
The team ranks sixth in goals per game with 1.65, but rank 22nd in the league with just over two goals allowed per game.
The Islanders leading scorer, Jason Plumoff has been a bright spot on the team, but the team has four other players with three or more goals.
The Islanders also have an affiliation with MLS club Philadelphia Union, however have no one loaned down from the club.
Another interesting fact about the Islanders is that their current head coach Bill Becher, has been the manager ever since the club was founded in 2004.
Trying to Keep Momentum Going
TFC II hasn't been having the best season, considering they've only won five times. However, a very key aspect the club has succeed in his not giving up a ton of goals, and besides the big 4-0 loss against Louisville on May 16th, the club hasn't lost a game by more than four goals since. It's the little victories that will help this team.
A game winning goal by Massimo Mirabelli against the Kickers gave the team a much needed three points and allowed them to awarded after a good showing against a veteran squad.
"Coming off that great victory, we should build from that and continue to focus on what the coaches want from us and stay focused and positive." said Mirabelli about what the club has to do to earn a second consecutive win.
As mentioned before, the Islanders are coming off a devastating 5-1 loss against Louisville on Saturday, and TFC II head coach Jason Bent thinks that Harrisburg wont be a club to just walk all over. "I think they''ll bounce back. Their coach is a pretty strong character and I'm sure he'll have them ready for the game."
Bent later answered just how important that late winner against Richmond is to help the club get back to winning. "You're playing against a team that is not made up of kids, an established Richmond Kickers.
"For us to perform in the manner that we did against them, I think our players will take huge confidence from that.
"We need to show we can put together back-to-back performances."
The match against Richmond is key for the club, but they still have a very long road to go before playoffs can be talked about. The club looked excellent with Jay Chapman in the lineup, and unfortunately, will have to get use to not always having him with the squad.
The Islanders may not be the best defensive team, but their offence is sixth in goals, so it's very hard to take them as an easy win. They are a more experienced club than TFC II and were also the playoff finalists last year.
I say TFC II will have a boost from the win on Saturday and show that they can actually earn consecutive wins for the first time this season. The team has played well defensively lately, and that addition of Chapman could really push the club to new level.
You can watch the game live at 8:00 ET at torontofc.ca/live.