Utica City FC opens their inaugural campaign tonight with a visit to Harrisburg, where they take on the Heat at the PA Farm Show Arena. With kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. both teams will be looking to get off to a positive start to their campaigns. 


The Harrisburg Heat begin their season under new leadership with new coach, Pat Healey, manning the ship. Healey will be looking for newly signed league veteran, Daniel Villa, to bring his valuable experience to the Heat lineup. Nelson Santana will be hoping to create an immediate impact in his first year with the Heat. The 5’ 8” forward from Oakland, Calif. has played in the MASL for with the Ontario Fury and Baltimore Blast for eight years and has earned all-league honors over multiple years.


Head Coach Ryan Hall is beginning his sophomore season as an MASL coach. Hall led the Syracuse Silver Knights to their best record in team history including a playoff appearance in his first season. He will be looking to establish a precedent of winning in this first contest. 


Utica City FC has made significant signings over the final few days of pre-season adding the likes of Mauricio Salles, Lucio Gonzaga and Jake Schindler to their 2018-19 roster. Gonzaga recorded 24 points in 19 games as a Heat player last season. Salles is a perennial 30 goal scorer and will look to repeat that success in a Utica jersey.


Offensively, Joey Tavernese who scored 54 points in 22 games last year in the MASL will certainly be one to watch leading the front line for Utica. League veteran, Darren Toby will be looking to post another consistent season into the record books and set the example for his team when it comes to keeping the opposition quiet. Toby is a blockade in the defensive zone making it near impossible to navigate by him.


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