Well, two days ago we were pretty pessimistic about the RailHawks' chances of regaining second place after losing to Puerto Rico 2-0 on Tuesday. We noted that in order for the RailHawks to grab that spot back from the Islanders, they would have to beat Puerto Rico this Saturday, Sept. 12, AND some help would be required from either of Puerto Rico's two remaining, nonplayoff-bound opponents.
What's curious about a closer inspection of Puerto Rico coach Colin Clarke's lineup is that he chose to rest his key players. Left off the starting lineup were such mainstays as forwards Nicholas Addlery and Kendall Jagdeosingh, midfielder Jonathan Steele, goalkeeper Bill Gaudette and defender Christian Arrieta. The latter two, both frontrunners for All-USL-1 honors, were left off the lineup entirely. (Among the squaddies who got a chance to start last night: ex-RailHawks phenom Martin Nuñez, now seeing limited minutes under his full name of Pablo Martin Nuñez.)
So, call Clarke crazy, but he seems to have calculated that it was best to keep his best players in reserve for Saturday night's matchup against the RailHawks.
The stakes are very high for this game. If Puerto Rico wins, they clinch second place. If the RailHawks win, they move into second and can secure it with a win next Friday against Montreal.
And why all the fuss over second place, anyway? It means not facing the powerful Portland Timbers until the final round of the playoffs, of course.
Game on at 7 p.m. tomorrow. And no, you can't go see N.C. State play Murray State instead—unless you're Triangle Offense's Joe Schwartz and Rob Rowe. Visit here for RailHawks ticket info. Also, tomorrow's game is the occasion for a fundraiser to benefit The Magnificent Mile and the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation. The press release contains details after the jump.
RailHawks Game to Benefit The Magnificent Mile
Team Donating Portion of Ticket Sales to Help Fight Motor Neuron Disease
RALEIGH, N.C. (September 3, 2009)-Sarah Roberts-Witt, founder and inspiration behind The Magnificent Mile (www.magmilerace.com), thanks the Carolina RailHawks for its support of the event. The RailHawks are dedicating the September 12 game against the Puerto Rico Islanders to The Magnificent Mile.
The team will donate $2 from every adult ticket sold that is referenced by saying Magnificent Mile at the ticket office or by entering magmile as a promotional code for online purchases. Tickets for the September 12 game can be purchased by visiting www.etix.com and entering magmile as the promo code, or by calling the ticket office at 919.859.5425 and mentioning The Magnificent Mile.
"The Carolina RailHawks have been tremendously generous and we are so grateful," says Roberts-Witt. "We are looking forward to a fantastic turn-out and what's sure to be an exciting game."
Presented by Quintiles and Lenovo, the fourth annual Magnificent Mile is a fundraising event that includes one-mile runs and walks, as well as other family friendly activities. Proceeds benefit the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation. In its first three years, nearly 1,500 participants have helped raise more than $100,000 for research into upper motor neuron diseases. The 2009 event is expected to have more than 750 participants and has a fundraising goal of $50,000.
"We are thrilled to support The Magnificent Mile and its quest to find a cure for motor neuron disease," says Brian Wellman, president of the Carolina RailHawks. "As an organization, we strive to make a difference in the community; it's efforts like Sarah's that make these events so special."
The Magnificent Mile serves as the USATF North Carolina State one-mile championship and is the first of the eight-race Second Empire Grand Prix Series. Additionally, organizers seek to encourage sustainable and environmentally conscious activities. The Magnificent Mile is part of Endurance Magazine's Race Without a Trace initiative.
More information is available at www.magmilerace.com
About The Magnificent Mile:
Sarah Roberts-Witt, co-founder and inspiration behind The Magnificent Mile, was an avid runner and marathoner until developing primary lateral sclerosis in 2004. She is now confined to a wheelchair and is unable to speak, but the disease hasn't stopped her. Since her diagnosis, she has dedicated her time to trying to find a cure-one step at a time. This race combines her love of running with her desire to find a cure for motor neuron disease. The Magnificent Mile races have raised more than $100,000 to fund research grants awarded by the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation to help find a cure for motor neuron disease. Visit www.magmilerace.com.
About The Carolina Railhawks:
The Carolina Railhawks is North Carolina's only professional soccer team. Based in Cary, the team plays in the USL First Division. In addition, The RailHawks work with many organizations in the wider community to help promote youth education and fitness. Visit www.carolinarailhawks.com.
About Spastic Paraplegia Foundation:
The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation (SPF) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization founded in 2000 and the beneficiary of the Magnificent Mile Races. Its primary mission is to find a cure for two upper motor neuron disorders, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), and to raise awareness of their devastating effects. Some 92 percent of its funds go to this mission. Since its inception, the SPF has awarded more than $2 million in research grants. Visit www.sp-foundation.org.