Wanted: Better broadcast coverage of the RailHawks; Vancouver tonight, will away goals materialize? | Sports | Indy Week
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wanted: Better broadcast coverage of the RailHawks; Vancouver tonight, will away goals materialize?

Posted by on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge Gregory Richardson made his RailHawks debut against the Whitecaps in July, scoring a goal that was later ruled to be an own goal. (photo by Rich Bostwick)
  • Gregory Richardson made his RailHawks debut against the Whitecaps in July, scoring a goal that was later ruled to be an own goal. (photo by Rich Bostwick)

It's Thursday, Sept. 24, and the RailHawks playoff run begins tonight in Vancouver. Tune in at 10:30 p.m. to www.usllive.com for the Webcast, and/or follow the tweets from the RailHawks' Tim Candon @RailHawksFC. I published a short print preview in the Indy this week (with a great picture of Gregory Richardson during his dominating first-half performance against Puerto Rico).

We also heard coach Martin Rennie on 850 the Buzz yesterday. While it was great to hear the RailHawks featured on a local AM sports chat show, the quality of the interview was a little discouraging.

The host, David Glenn, averred that he'd been attending games and even mentioned that he himself is a coach of his kid's U-7 team. Unfortunately, he didn't ask Rennie a single tactical question, nor were any RailHawks players' names mentioned in the interview.

There was, however, a question about how Rennie's American wife, Amy, liked living in Scotland, but no question about the experience and quality Scottish Premier League veteran Greg Shields has brought to the back line. (Shields, by the way, was named to the 24th and final USL-1 team of the week and, remarkably, he's the 18th RailHawk so honored this season.)

After a discussion of soccer's potential for growth in America and an amusing recounting of Rennie's encounter with a water bottle in Montreal, Glenn inquired about the family friendliness of WakeMed Soccer Park. Rennie dutifully enumerated all of the children's activities available, along with the half-time shows and the promotional games. It was as if he was being asked to justify a night out to something intrinsically uninteresting—a soccer game.

Questions about Matthew Delicâte's subbing (or Matthew Watson's broken leg)? Nope. Questions about Rennie's strategy in a two-leg playoff? Nope. Questions about matching up with Vancouver's Charles Gbeke and Marlon James? Nope. Questions about the difficulty the RailHawks have in scoring on the road (more on that below)? Nada.

The whole interview was quite pleasant, and Glenn was genuinely enthusiastic and not condescending. I'm sure the RailHawks are happy to have the radio exposure, but we await more mature, sophisticated soccer coverage from the area's broadcast sports media. Rennie himself said on the program that increased media interest is key to soccer's growth in America--and he told the Indy's Chris Gaffney as much back in March: "To tell the truth, I hope that the press becomes critical here, because that means they're interested."

In our continuing effort to, ahem, do just that, we recently took a closer look at the RailHawks' road record against the six other teams in the playoffs. Although the RailHawks' overall road record is a strong 5-5-5, for 20 points in 15 games, the team has had more difficulty against the playoff teams. This is to be expected, of course, but we thought we'd look at the numbers.

The big number we see is four.

That's the number of goals the RailHawks have scored in 10 games on the road against the other six playoff teams. Those 10 road games have seen a result of two wins, four losses and four draws.

The kicker, though, is that the two wins and four draws amount to six decent results, despite only scoring four goals! (For the entire season, the RailHawks scored only 11 away goals, which places them behind only Miami—and it's one of the few categories in which the RailHawks have underperformed.)

What's clear is that defense on the road, as ever, will be crucial for the success of the RailHawks in the playoffs. Given the past performance, it's probably too much to expect much more than a grind-it-out result tonight in Vancouver.

Given the RailHawks' difficulty in scoring on the road, it's probably to the best that the USL-1 doesn't employ the away-goals tiebreaker. Perhaps in another year, when the RailHawks are more prolific on the road, the league will.

By the way, there are a few hours yet to take advantage of the RailHawks' 55-hour playoff ticket discount.

APPENDIX:

The RailHawks' road record versus Portland, Puerto Rico, Charleston

Pts Games Win Loss Draw RailHawks goals
Portland 1 2 0 1 1
Puerto Rico 0 1 0 1 0
Charleston 3 2 1 1 0 2
TOTAL 4 5 1 3 1 2

The RailHawks' road record versus Rochester, Montreal and Vancouver

Pts Games Win Loss Draw RailHawks goals
Rochester 4 2 1 0 1 1
Montreal 1 2 0 1 1 1
Vancouver 1 1 0 0 1
TOTAL 6 5 1 1 3 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports



Twitter Activity

Comments

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation