Preview: Carolina Railhawks v. Real Maryland
US Open Cup Second Round
By Matt Skinner
Real Maryland continues its inaugural run in the US Open Cup when it takes on USL-1 team, the Carolina Railhawks, in the second round Tuesday, 7.30PM at the Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
Following their narrow 1-0 loss on Saturday night against the Charlotte Eagles in USL-2, the Monarchs’ attention now turns to furthering their run in the knock-out competition after disposing of the New York Pancyprian Freedoms, 3-2 in the first round.
Their opponents Carolina advanced to the second round after defeating the Brooklyn Knights of the PDL, 1-0 late in their first round game. The fixture had been a close affair with the score deadlocked until midfielder Kapuno Low was awarded a free kick in the 85th minute. The former Puerto Rican international calmly struck the ball into the lower left corner, earning the RailHawks the right to host the Monarchs in Cary.
The Railhawks are no strangers to the knock out competition and will be hoping to emulate their successful run in last year’s US Open Cup, when the team advanced all the way to the semi finals. It was only then that they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat in extra time against eventual champions, the New England Revolution.
The RailHawks return to Wake Med Soccer Complex after five consecutive fixtures on the road against USL-1 opposition. After losing their first three games on the trot, the RailHawks rallied last Friday to tie with the Rochester Rhinos 3-3 before succumbing to a 2-0 loss on Sunday against Montreal Impact. The RailHawks are currently 8th on the USL-1 table.
“We need to be on our game against Carolina,” explains head coach Silvino Gonzalo. “The RailHawks will be tough opponents so we will be focusing on our movement of the ball and our finishing in training. Scoring enough goals means that we advance.”
Coach Gonzalo will be without defenders Matthew Eby and Daryl Ferguson for the clash. Eby has been called up to the United States Deaf national team to participate in the World Deaf Football Championships, which will take place July 2-12 in Patras, Greece. Barbadian defender Ferguson has been on World Cup qualification duty with Barbados and will not return in time for the fixture.The winner of the US Open Cup second round clash will earn a third round birth against MLS side Kansas City Wizards on July 1st.
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