The Galaxy is back

mblake@newsobserver.comMay 24, 2013 


The Carolina RailHawks celebrate Brian Shriver's (21) game winning goal against the LA Galaxy during the second half Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The RailHawks won 2-1.


— As the luck of the draw – and coin flip – would have it, the Carolina RailHawks will once again host the LA Galaxy, two-time defending champs of Major League Soccer.

The two sides will square off at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the third round of the 100th annual U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that pits professional and amateur soccer teams from across the nation against each other.

The RailHawks won a coin flip to host the Galaxy, which drew its bracket assignment last week.

In last year’s third round of the U.S. Open Cup, the RailHawks hosted the Galaxy in front of a sold-out stadium and delivered a come-from-behind 2-1 win in the second half.

“We are happy with the result and that we are through to the next round,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke in a statement. “Advancing and hosting the LA Galaxy in the next round is a great occasion for the organization and for the supporters. It was a lot of fun last year and I expect to have another great match next Wednesday.”

With more seating in WakeMed Soccer Park this year, the crowd is expected to be even larger.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, former head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, didn’t know much about the RailHawks going into last year’s game and left many of his top players at home to rest for their next regular-season game. There have been no announcements on which Galaxy players will be with the team this year.

It won’t be David Beckham. The international star left the team in the offseason.

Landon Donovan only recently joined the team after taking a leave of absence, but it’s unclear if he, famed striker Robbie Keane, or U.S. Men’s National Team member Omar Gonzalez will be as well. The Galaxy, like all American MLS teams, had a first- and second-round bye.

The RailHawks, which had a first-round bye in the Cup and won 3-1 in the second round against the Carolina Dynamo, a U23 team from Greensboro, are currently tied for the North American Soccer League lead halfway into the spring season. The top team after the spring season will host the NASL Soccer Bowl championship game in November.

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