This Saturday, Oct. 15, the Puerto Rico Islanders will square off against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the second and last time in the semifinal series of the North American Soccer League (NASL). After a dramatic 3-1 loss at home last Saturday against the Strikers, the Orange Troop must win by at least three goals to reach the NASL Championship. Kick-off is set for 7:30p.m.
“We’ve been in situations like this before and been in some worse situations and come through and got positive results. It’s pretty simple; tomorrow we have to win the game. We’re on the road. It’s something we’ve done on numerous occasions. We have to put ourselves in the position to win the game,” said head coach Colin Clarke.
The Puerto Rico Islanders will count on important players with a spot in the NASL Finals on the line. Players who were absent last game due to their participation in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers.
“It’s a different spirit. Everyone is back to the team. It’s an extra motivation that the roster is complete to succeed in the next game,” said forward Jonathan Fana.
First Semifinal Match against Strikers
The first semifinal leg of the Puerto Rico Islanders game against Fort Lauderdale finished 3-1. The first goal came in the 49th minute from Martin Nunez. In the 82nd minute, Walter Restrepo scored putting the Strikers up on the scoreboard 2-0. In the 87th minute Jonathan Fana managed to score the first goal for the Orange Troop. However, in stoppage time, Brian Shriver scored the last goal of the game.
Regular Season Stats
The Islanders and Strikers have a very comparable record during the tail end of the season. The Islanders recorded seven wins, two draws, and one loss during their last ten games of the season while the Strikers ended the season with six wins, two draws, and two losses in their last ten matches.
Islanders Have done this Before
In 2010, the Islanders came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit against Mexican Champion Toluca to win a CONCACAF Champions’ League group stage match 3-2. In the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League qualifying round, Puerto Rico scored three times after minute 65 against Metapan to tie the series score at 3-3 aggregate.
The Carolina RailHawks will also face NSC Minnesota Stars this Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park for their last semifinal match. NSC Minnesota Stars managed a victory 1-0 over first place Carolina RailHawks during their first semifinal meeting. The winners of these two face offs will meet in the NASL Championship Series.
Come this Saturday, Oct. 15, to the Right Field Building to watch the final semifinal game of the Puerto Rico Islanders against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Be sure to come to send all those good vibes to your squad at 7:30p.m. Entrance fee is $5. There will be refreshments, food, giveaways and Happy Hour for “Medalla” at $1 from 6:30-7:30p.m.