RailHawks keeper Eric Reed surely didn't intend for his endorsement of rock-solid—and taciturn—defender Jeremy Tolleson in team blogger Tim Candon's profile, posted today, to sound backhanded:
"He's so dependable," said goalkeeper Eric Reed, who played with Tolleson last year in Cleveland, too. "A lot of teams, because he's not a physical presence back there like [Mark] Schulte or Brad [Rusin], you don't think a lot of him. Teams will put forwards directly on him, and Jeremy will handle them no problem. You can count on him 99.999 percent of the time. Very rarely will he ever do something that will hurt you."
Obviously, if defenders were perfect, they wouldn't concede any goals. In fact, the RailHawks have given up 13, the second-fewest in the USL-1. For his part, Tolleson has been an unsung hero, fortuitously stepping in after missing the first few weeks of the season due to injury. He made his season debut in the same game that saw the towering Jack Stewart go down with a broken fibula. Tolleson, who played with coach Martin Rennie in Cleveland the last two seasons and with the PDL Cascade Surge before that, was expected to see time at left back, but the Stewart injury moved him to the middle. Candon's appreciation is here.
Elsewhere in RailHawksiana today, the N&O's Rachel Ullrich has a nice piece about the RailHawks' foreign players that performs the useful service of nailing down which players are officially foreign, under USL rules, and which are not. (In the latter category: Sallieu Bundu, Andriy Budnyy, Gavin Glinton, Caleb Patterson-Sewell.) This story, by the way, ran above the fold on the front sports page. Kudos to the N&O for giving Ullrich space this summer. She'll be missed when her internship ends.
The RailHawks are back in third place after victories by the Charleston Battery and the Portland Timbers. They have three games in hand on Charleston and one on Portland. They travel to Vancouver for a game against the Whitecaps Saturday, Aug. 15, at 10 p.m. EDT. Watch it on USLLive.com.