Penn FC says it will not participate in the United Soccer League in 2019, aims to return at new stadium in 2020

Courtesy Penn FC

HARRISBURG — Penn FC announced Monday that it has received approval from the United Soccer League to join USL League one for the 2020 season, but it will not participate in the league in 2019 while it pursues the development of a potential new, soccer-specific stadium in Central Pennsylvania.

“We’re incredibly disappointed not to take part in the 2019 season,” said Penn FC Owner Eric Pettis in a press release. “However, we remain wholly committed to finding a solution to our stadium situation and ensuring that we can continue to bring high-level professional soccer to our fans in the region. We look forward to launching a new era of Penn FC in 2020.”

Penn FC was rebranded this past offseason. Prior to that, the club was known as the Harrisburg City Islanders. The club played its matches at FNB Field on Harrisburg’s City Island. Penn FC is one of three teams to have reached the USL Cup on two separate occasions during the league’s modern era.

“The lack of a serviceable stadium solution has presented a tremendous challenge for Penn FC,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Our league has grown and matured to a point where having a strong venue that allows for proper scheduling, a quality in-stadium experience and better opportunities on both the business and technical sides is absolutely essential.

“With that said, we have great faith in Eric and his team and look forward to welcoming them back in 2020.” 

“Not competing in the USL in 2019 is in the best interest for the future of Penn FC,” said Penn FC Vice President of Business Operations Anthony Rios. “While we are disappointed that we will not be on the field, this is only the beginning of an exciting new era for the club. We are not bidding farewell to the league, but rather saying hello to USL League One in 2020.”