The team came into the season on a high, they had just played a preseason tournament against MLS teams and achieved very successful results. They also had signed several dangerous players like Panamanian trio Victor Herrera, a Panamanian international, Gustavo Avila, and Alberto Zapata, a new goalkeeper Josh Saunders, rookie Jay Needham The Force folded after one game in Houston., plus a return of players like Marco Vélez, Petter Villegas and Noah Delgado. The squad was considered serious contenders for the title.
After one early success, the team took a turn for the worse. It was evident that Toribio Rojas had lost his edge and after an embarrassing 2:1 lost against bottom table Minnesota Thunder was let go from his coaching position and given the post of Youth System Director, when he left the team with a record of 1-3-3. Also attendance went down.
The FO quickly found a replacement in ex-FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke, who had found himself without a job after the debacle of the Virginia Beach Mariners. He immediately established himself as a hard and hotheaded coach. Because of the way he conducted the teams practice, he was given the nickname of "El General", because he worked the team like a general would with his troops.
The rapid change was also seen on the field, in the first game under Clark the team beat the Minnesota Thunder 2:1, just a week after it had lost against them. Clark and the Islanders turned around, even with some bad roster decisions by Clark in American Jared Montz and Jamaican Gregory Simmonds, he redeemed himself by signing players like Haitian Fabrice Noel, Englishman Taiwo Atieno and bringing Willie Sims on loan from the New England Revolution. These players had a positive impact on the squad and the team ended comfortably in 6th place, two spots on top of the last playoff spot.
The Islanders went into the playoffs with an air of confidence but facing powerhouse Montreal, passing the quarterfinals seemed very difficult. After a 2:3 lost in Montreal, the team came back at home with the 3:0 victory, winning the series 5:3. In the semifinals, the team faced the same problem but now against regular season champions Seattle Sounders. The Islanders lost at home but managed to tie the series in Seattle, losing the series 4-2 in penalties.
Read more about this topic: History Of Puerto Rico Islanders FC
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“The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)