Preview: Real Maryland v. Wilmington Hammerheads
Real Maryland will look to take three more points when it faces the Wilmington Hammerheads, Saturday at 7:30 PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Following 255 minutes of scoreless soccer and after falling behind 2-0, Real Maryland exploded for three goals to defeat the Cleveland City Stars 3-2 last weekend and earn a spot in the US Open Cup.
Head coach Silvino Gonzalo hopes to continue that trend saying that the main focus on the Monarchs’ training ground this week was simply “scoring goals”.
“This game is going to be very difficult,” Gonzalo said in a phone interview. “Wilmington is a very good team and we cannot go by their record. They will be a tough challenge for us.”
Wilmington is in last place, but earned a credible 1-1 draw in its last match with the reigning USL-2 champions, the Harrisburg City Islanders.
The North Carolina outfit has extra incentive to win on Real Maryland’s home turf. A victory coupled with a Pittsburgh loss or tie will earn the Hammerheads the final USL-2 berth in the US Open Cup.
Real Maryland still has a few injury worries heading into Saturday night’s match. Phillipe Bissohong will miss his third straight game with a leg injury he suffered in Western Mass, while inspirational captain Ronald Cerritos is once again a game time decision.
There is a chance that new signing Marcos Chantal will feature in the Monarch’s starting line-up. The Brazilian joins Real Maryland on loan from the California Cougars of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Pablo Gomez, younger brother of MLS star Christian Gomez, will once again be on the team-sheet in hopes of making his debut for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs currently occupy fifth place in the table. A win coupled with slip ups from either Western Mass and/or Cleveland City could propel the first year team into the top half of the table. Anything less than three points, however, and Real Maryland will be right back to square one.
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