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Harrisburg’s professional soccer club changes name to Penn FC

Majority George Altirs speaks during a press conference for the Harrisburg City Islanders, now Penn FC, in March. - (Photo / File)

Ahead of the 2018 season, Harrisburg’s professional soccer club has changed its name to Penn FC.

The goal in moving away from Harrisburg City Islanders, a team entering its 15th season, is to represent Central Pennsylvania and the growth of soccer in the region, said George Altirs, majority owner of the team.

“When creating the branding for Penn FC, we had three goals in mind — make it memorable, make it market relevant, make it timeless,” he said. “So, we focused on creating a logo that would honor the great state of Pennsylvania and communicate a unique, forward-thinking identity on par with the evolution of professional soccer in the United States.”

Altirs came in as an owner ahead of the 2017 season in March. The club also made a jump to Division II of the United Soccer League, which is one step below Major League Soccer.

As part of the rebranding effort by the club, the team has aligned itself with Rush Soccer, an international soccer organization comprised of 85 clubs in the U.S. and abroad that focuses on player and product development. Rush Soccer will serve as an academy for Penn FC to scout and develop players for its roster.

Penn FC will continue to play its home games at FNB Field on City Island in Harrisburg, home of the Harrisburg Senators baseball team.

The owners have said their goal is to build a soccer-specific stadium in the coming years to meet a directive from USL. That process remains ongoing.

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