This is the third game of the season for the Harrisburg Heat. In the first two games, the Heat have lost to two undefeated teams in Utica City FC and the Kansas City Comets. The Heat lost the first game on the road in Utica by a score of 7-5. Kansas City defeated the Heat last week in Harrisburg by a score of 7-3. Utica comes to Harrisburg with a record of 2 wins and no losses. In addition to defeating Harrisburg, Utica City beat the Baltimore Blast last Saturday in Baltimore by a score of 10-6.
Dominic Francis is currently leading the Heat in goals and points this season with two goals and three points. Five Heat players all have one goal and one assist for two points in the first two games of the season. They include Malcolm Harris, Danny DiPrima, Joey Tavernese, Robert Williamson and Roshawn Panton.
The Heat return their top three scorers from last year in Malcolm Harris, Dominic Francis and Danny DiPrima. In addition, the Heat return experienced defensive players with Elton de Oliveira, Robbie Williamson and Brad Kerstetter.
Key off-season acquisitions included forward Joey Tavernese, defender Onua Obasi and goalkeeper Hugo Silva. Each of these players have achieved great success in the league. Tavernese is an eleven-year veteran of professional indoor soccer. Tavernese has played for five different franchises and has proven to be an excellent goal scorer on all of them. Tavernese previously played for the Rochester Lancers, Ontario Fury, Syracuse Silver Knights, Utica City FC and the Florida Tropics. Tavernese was named to the second team all-MASL team in the 2017/2018 season. Defender Onua Obasi has played six seasons in the indoor game playing for the Baltimore Blast, Utica City FC and the Ontario Fury. Obasi was a teammate of current Heat Head Coach, Pat Healey, on the 2016 Baltimore Blast team that won the MASL title. Goalkeeper Hugo Silva returns to the Harrisburg Heat where he played from 2016 to 2018. Silva has been the starting goalkeeper for the Florida Tropics for the past five seasons. Silva was a finalist in the Goalkeeper of the Year award in the MASL for the 2019/2020 season.
Due to visa issues with Hugo Silva, Grant Glorioso will start the season as the number one goalkeeper for the Harrisburg Heat. Last year’s starting goalkeeper, Chase Vosvick, has not returned this season as he has decided to pursue graduate school. Glorioso was obtained by the Heat in the 2022 MASL Combine. Glorioso played three games for the Harrisburg Heat last season and had a goals-against average of 6.19 per game.
As well as Hugo Silva, visa issues also are preventing Lesia Thetsane, Davinson Diaz, Daniel Villela, and James Vaughan from starting the season with the Harrisburg Heat.
Utica City FC defeated the Harrisburg Heat on December 2nd in the home opener for Utica. The final score was 7-5 as Utica scored an open net goal with five seconds to go to expand the final score to a two goal win. Utica City FC won the series matchup last season as they had 5 wins and 1 defeat against the Harrisburg Heat. Harrisburg won the final game of the series in Utica on March 19th by a score of 5-4 in overtime. Four of the six games last year between the two teams were decided by just one goal with two of the games going to overtime.
Harrisburg Players To Watch
Dominic Francis returns after leading the Heat last season with 14 goals. Francis is a former league all-star.
Malcolm Harris returns to the Heat midfield this season. Last year Harris led the team in points with 21.
Joey Tavernese is a free agent acquisition for the Harrisburg Heat this year. Tavarnese played for Utica City FC last season before ending the season with the Florida Tropics. Tavarnese led Utica City FC in scoring in the 2021/2022 season with 19 goals and 29 points.
Danny DiPrima, Captain of the Heat, returns after recording 17 points last season with the Heat.
Utica City FC Players To Watch
Franck Tayou is in his first year with Utica after being acquired in an off-season trade with the Empire Strykers. Tayou has been named MASL Most Valuable Player four times.
Gordy Gurson returns to Utica after leading the team in scoring last season with 22 goals and 41 points
Andrew Coughlin returns in the nets for Utica. Coughlin had a 5.74 goals against average last season.
Injury Report – Harrisburg Heat
- Blake Hylton – Out – Foot
- Josiah Ramirez – Doubtful – Hamstring
- Onua Obasi – Questionable – Hamstring