In another demonstration of their commitment to their Puerto Rican community, the Puerto Rico Islanders dedicated Wednesday night's match with FC Tampa Bay to women affected by breast cancer.
The money earned from ticket sales will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation as a demonstration that the Islanders support its mission to raise awareness about breast cancer in the Puerto Rican population.
With a first-round bye already assured, the Puerto Rico Islanders (15-6-7, 52 points) become the only team in the North American Soccer League (NASL) to go undefeated at home following their 1-0 victory over FC Tampa Bay (10-9-8, 38 points) at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium.
Despite already clinching a first-round bye, the second-best team in the NASL started the match aggressively. The combination of forward Yaikel Perez and midfielder Kevon Villaroel immediately made it an issue to attack FC Tampa Bay GK Jeff Attinella.
After several minutes of advancing the ball, the duo of Perez and Villaroel gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Taking advantage of a counterattack, Villaroel passed the ball to Perez, who moments later scored his first goal of the season.
Following the lead, the Islanders' defense and excellent goalkeeping skills of Ray Burse prevented Tampa from tying the match. Along with their defense, the Islanders continued to advance the ball in an effort to produce another goal.
Regardless of their inability to produce another goal, the Islanders was able to hold on for the 1-0 victory. With the season officially over, the Orange Troop will play their first home playoff match on Oct. 8 in the NASL semifinals.
While the Islanders weren't successful in winning the NASL regular season championship, they still have a chance to win the postseason and repeat as Division-2 champions.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press and USSoccerPlayers.com, your source for American soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. national team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.