Preview: Crystal Palace Baltimore v. Real Maryland

By Matt Skinner

Real Maryland (3-14-1) will be aiming to clinch the DeOrsey Maryland Cup from USL-2 local rivals Crystal Palace Baltimore (9-6-1) when the two teams meet this Thursday at 7.30PM at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Stadium.


The Monarchs remain bottom of the USL-2 ladder after losing to the Richmond Kickers 6-0 away on the weekend. The hosts took an early lead through Fabian Dawkins in the 9th minute before Mike Burke scored a slew of goals to notch up his hat-trick just before half-time. The Kickers added further woes to the Monarchs back line with two second-half strikes by Freddie Smith and Anthony Catalano respectively.


“I’m really disappointed about the loss,” bemoaned head coach Antonio Carlos Vieira. “But at the end of it all, Richmond played much faster and was the better team.”


Fourth place Crystal Palace returns home to the UMBC Soccer Stadium this Thursday after losing 3-0 away to league leaders Charlotte on the weekend. The visitors were 2-0 down at half-time after both Steve Shak and Jorge Herrera found the back of Palace’s net. Leading USL-2 goal scorer Dustin Swinehart sealed the victory for his team close to the end to extend Charlotte’s unbeaten run to eleven games.


One player in that defeat against Charlotte was recently released Monarch Mateus Dos Anjos, who will be making his home debut for his new club this Thursday. Real Maryland’s defenders will be aiming to prevent the pacey midfielder from being on the end of any goal celebrations.


Both Maryland teams will be eyeing the DeOrsey Maryland Cup as the perfect tonic after miserable weekends. The trophy is awarded to the aggregate winner of all USL-2 matches between the two rivals and the deciding game will take place on Thursday.


Palace currently holds the advantage over the Monarchs after leaving the Maryland SoccerPlex 2-1 victors back in June. The rivals were deadlocked at half-time after Cecil Lewis and Nilson Perez both scored for their respective teams but Sergio Flores’ second-half strike proved to be the decisive match-winner.


“We can’t give up goals against Baltimore,” Vieira firmly points out. “We just have to keep our heads up.”


This will be Real Maryland’s last chance to win silverware this season and the team will be giving it their all against its state rivals. Supporters are urged to make the short trip up to the UMBC Stadium and cheer their team on!


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