Professional Indoor Soccer returns to Pennsylvania
It has been nearly a decade since professional indoor soccer has been played in the Capital City of the Keystone State. Now that the Philadelphia KiXX no longer exist, leaving the Heat as the only professional indoor team in Pennsylvania. This year the Harrisburg Heat have returned, as a new a franchise in the Professional Arena Soccer League. The Harrisburg Heat were a member of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) now identified as the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). The franchise was started in 1991 as the Hershey Impact and last twelve years until the end in 2003.
The newly formed Harrisburg Heat will be mostly made up of former and current Harrisburg City Islanders. Richard Chinapoo a former star player of the NPSL franchise in Harrisburg will be the head coach assisted by a former teammate and fan favorite Gino DiFlorio. Chinapoo stated that he wanted to use local talent for this new Heat franchise. Among the high school and college players from the mid-state are familiar names related to the City Islanders. Current Islanders Tom Mellor, Brian Ombiji, and Yann Ekra along with former Islanders Sam Bishop, Jason Hotchkin, David Schofield, and Dave Kern. Kern holds USL goalkeeping records and is one three current players that have previous history playing indoor professionally.
The Heat will be playing in the East Division of the PASL alongside with clubs from all over the mid-west of the United States. Home games will be played at the Equine Arena inside the State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. The Heat opened the season on Saturday against another former NPSL/MISL franchise new to the PASL, the Dallas Sidekicks. On Saturday November 17th, the Heat will have their home opener against Cincinnati at 7:05.