The Puerto Rico Islanders continue their away stretch this Sunday, August 12 when they travel to Clarke Stadium in order to face FC Edmonton after obtaining a 2-1 victory in San Antonio last Sunday. The Islanders are currently in second place in NASL standings with 34 points, only two behind first place San Antonio. The Islanders will return home to the renovated Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium this next Saturday when they receive the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at 7:30pm.
Head Coach Adrian Whitbread spoke about their travel: “Due to the cancellation of some of the players’ flight, we had no training today and will go straight to the game tomorrow, where Edmonton will be on a high after Wednesday night’s point against San Antonio. Even so, we expect to bring those three points home. They are fighting for every point to make the play offs just like ourselves so bring it on!
The season so far
The Islanders travel to FC Edmonton on the back of a fantastic 2-1 victory over league leaders - the San Antonio Scorpions last week. The win leaves the "Tropa Naranja" lying in 2nd place, two points behind San Antonio with four games to go.
Opponents FC Edmonton have had a difficult season and are currently in 7th place with 18 points and a record of 4-6-10.
There have been no winners or losers this season when FC Edmonton and the Islanders have met, with all three previous meetings ending in a tie. When the Eddies last visited Puerto Rico in July, they were able to reclaim a point when Kyle Porter’s cross-come-shot cancelled out Jonathan Fana’s 18th minute strike.
Defensive player of the week - Richard Martinez
The Islanders will be hoping for a repeat performance from defender Richard Martinez, following his selection as last week’s defensive player of the week. The native of New York is in the top five for minutes played this season, and joins teammates Jonathan Fana and Richard Martin in collecting player of the week awards this season.
Goal drought up top, but tight at the back
Despite currently being NASL’s lowest scorers with a tally of 17 goals this season, fans of Edmonton should take heart from the fact their side also has the third best defensive record in the league.
Only San Antonio and our very own Islanders have conceded fewer goals than FC Edmonton this season. With Puerto Rico joint fifth in the goals scored column.
A home away from home
This season has seen the Islanders record a fantastic 7-2-1 record when playing at home. Unfortunately that form hasn’t quite transfered over when playing away from the Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, where three victories have been supplemented by two ties and five defeats.
The Islanders will be hoping to recapture some of the early season form that saw put four past league leaders San Antonio when they visited Heroes Stadium in April.
Rough and ready
If the Islanders are to come away with three points from Saturday’s game, they will need to stay out of the referee’s notebook. Only the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have picked up more yellow cards than the Islanders this season who currently have forty four to their name as well as two red cards.
Meanwhile opponents FC Edmonton are not far behind with forty one yellows cards and five reds.