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Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Balls to the wall': Carolina RailHawks man the ramparts for 1-0 win over New York Cosmos

Posted By on Sun, May 4, 2014 at 2:58 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—After the Carolina RailHawks were thrashed 4-nil by the expansion boots of Ottawa Fury FC a mere week ago, the last thing anybody expected was that the RailHawks could rely on their defense for a win against the defending NASL champion New York Cosmos. But even after losing two players to bookings and another to injury, the RailHawks did just that, shutting out New York while riding a first-half goal from Ty Shipalane to a 1-0 win over the Cosmos. It was a tale of two halves. It took only 12 minutes for the RailHawks’ counterattacking strategy...

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

RailHawk resurrection: Carolina steamrolls Strikers 4-1 to extend home unbeaten streak to 17 games

Posted By on Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY—At the outset of his postgame press conference, Zack Schilawski stared down for several seconds at the match stat sheet resting on the media room podium. “You scored two goals,” cracked one reporter, breaking the extended silence. Schilawski cackled. “Thanks, I couldn't believe it. I had to make sure.” Indeed, the most believable aspect to the Carolina RailHawks’ 4-1 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Cary Saturday evening was that it extended the RailHawks’ extraordinary unbeaten streak at WakeMed Soccer Park to 17 games. Weather, a short preseason and an Easter weekend kept the 2014...

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Atlanta Ultras, supporters group for NASL's Silverbacks, hit with 3-game ban

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:12 AM

UPDATE, 4-17-2014, 10:00 p.m.: Today, the Atlanta Silverbacks posted a press release to their team's website, officially confirming the three-game ban imposed on the Atlanta Ultras supporters group. In the release, the club attempting to clarify that this suspension was imposed by the club, not the NASL. The release states that "the league was not involved in the sanctions." The release also states that team president Andy Smith verbally informed the Ultras of these sanctions within 48 hours of last November's Soccer Bowl, but that a written reminder was delivered to the group earlier this week. In a post yesterday to their...

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Different game, different team: Carolina RailHawks 2014 NASL preview

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 5:03 PM

No more wondering about roster additions. No more pining for boffo friendlies. And no more ice storms cancelling preseason scrimmages. Ready or not, the Carolina RailHawks open their 2014 season this weekend. The RailHawks travel to Indianapolis this Saturday to kick off their 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) regular season. This year, a nine-game spring season will determine one berth in the newly minted four-team postseason playoffs. The RailHawks certainly face an uphill climb as one of the five NASL teams with only four homes games in the spring, one of three teams that both open and close...

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson discusses league expansion, playoffs, MLS, paid match streaming and other topics in advance of 2014 regular season kickoff

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:49 PM

On Tuesday, Bill Peterson, embarking on his second season as commissioner of the North American Soccer League (NASL), held a couple of media conference calls in advance of the 2014 NASL regular season, which kicks off this weekend. Next week, Peterson will visit North Carolina when he attends a Carolina RailHawks fan forum planned for Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in Raleigh. In the meantime, the RailHawks open their 2014 campaign this Saturday when they visit Indianapolis to take on Indy Eleven in the debut match for that new expansion club. Indy Eleven anticipates a sellout crowd of approximately...

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Come fly with us: Triangle Soccer Fanatics reorganize and recruiting new members

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Oh when the ‘Hawks go marching in, Oh when the ‘Hawks go marching in, Lord how I want to be in that number, When the ‘Hawks go marching in. If you've ever attended a Carolina RailHawks game, you’re already familiar with the Triangle Soccer Fanatics (TSF). You’ve heard their chants and the bang of their bass drum. You've seen the flags, banners, posters and tifo. And you've watched the orange smoke envelope the 309 Depot, named for the section at WakeMed Soccer Park that the RailHawks’ supporters group calls home throughout the season. Now, TSF wants to hear from you. This week, the group officially...

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

NASL unveils new 2014 postseason format

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Today, the North American Soccer League (NASL) unveiled a new postseason championship format effective for the 2014 season. Branded “The Championship”—and conspicuously not “playoffs"—in the league's press release, the new format will comprise a four-team, two-weekend tournament with a semifinal round held the weekend of November 8-9 and the championship final held the following weekend, November 15-16. The tournament format, approved this week by the NASL Board of Governors, will feature the winners of the NASL’s spring and fall seasons at its top two seeds. The two season champs will be the top two seeds in the postseason, with the top seed...

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Carolina RailHawks release 2014 preseason schedule

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 10:33 PM

The Carolina RailHawks do not open play in their 2014 North American Soccer League regular season until April 12. But with training camp now open, the club has solidified its preseason scrimmage schedule. According to David Vaught, the RailHawks’ Vice-President for Operations and Communications, the team’s preseason scrimmages will all take place at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The following is a list of matches, including opponents and kickoff times: Sat., March 8: Charleston Battery - 2:00 p.m. Tues., March 18: UNC-Wilmington - 5:00 p.m. * Sat., March 22: UNC-Chapel Hill - 2:00 p.m. * Fri., March 28: N.C. State...

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

NASL survey contemplates changes to postseason format and season calendar

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The North American Soccer League (NASL) has commissioned an online survey to select markets and supporter groups seeking their input regarding possible changes to the league’s postseason format and regular season calendar. The unpublicized survey, forwarded to Triangle Offense by a person close to a supporters group of a NASL team, is being disseminated via SurveyGizmo, an online survey software program. At the outset of the survey, the league says, “As we consider making significant changes to our competition structure, we would like to request your input and feedback as it relates to postseason play and the NASL calendar.” First,...

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Revamped NASL website introduces new features, subscription fee for live matches

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Being a fan of lower-division soccer often carries an expectation of a lower standard of play and presentation. But for fans of the North American Soccer League (NASL), one upside to this has been free online streaming of matches. Now, that is coming to an end, but the league is betting that a newly designed website, with numerous bells and whistles, will be enough to entice fans to pay a $4.99 per month subscription fee. When Bill Peterson became commissioner of the NASL nearly 14 months ago, one of his stated goals was improving the league’s Internet presence. That aim...

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Lumps of coal: New NASL 2014 spring season truncates schedule and fairness

Posted By on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the league Not a rumor was stirring, much less any intrigue When out of my  e-mail there arose such a clatter I sprang to my laptop to see what was the matter When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a shrinking spring season with just nine games to cheer More rapid than RailHawks its commands they came As the press release shouted and called teams by name! “Now Strikers! now, Silverbacks! now, Fury and Eddies! On, Cosmos! On, Indy! on Scorpions and Rowdies! For a berth in the Soccer Bowl! To...

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

'What have you done for me lately?' - Brian Haynes reacts to the sudden end of his tenure as Atlanta Silverbacks manager

Posted By on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

In a surprising move, the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League announced yesterday it was declining to exercise their option to extend the contract of head coach Brian Haynes. A month after Haynes’ Silverbacks lost the NASL Soccer Bowl 1-0 to the New York Cosmos, the league’s 2013 coach of the year now finds himself out of a job. Originally brought to Atlanta in July 2012 as an assistant to interim manager Eric Wynalda, Haynes assumed the managerial reins a month later after Wynalda left to resume his Fox Soccer television duties. In 2011, the Silverbacks finished last...

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sixth Senna: New York Cosmos win NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 over Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0

Posted By on Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 2:22 AM

The Carolina RailHawks aren’t in Atlanta for this weekend’s North American Soccer League championship, the self-explanatory Soccer Bowl 2013. But Neil Morris is there to provide his observations on the occasion and Saturday’s match between the New York Cosmos and Atlanta Silverbacks for Triangle Offense. ATLANTA—After finishing their regular season by losing five of their last seven matches, the Atlanta Silverbacks finally returned to their spring season champion form for Saturday’s NASL Soccer Bowl 2013. Unfortunately, the New York Cosmos continued to play like the team that was unbeaten over their last 11 games, had won seven of...

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

The big tent party: NASL holds 2013 Soccer Bowl awards banquet

Posted By on Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The Carolina RailHawks aren’t in Atlanta for this weekend’s North American Soccer League championship, the self-explanatory Soccer Bowl 2013. But Neil Morris is there to provide his observations on the occasion and Saturday’s match between the New York Cosmos and Atlanta Silverbacks for Triangle Offense. ATLANTA—Midway through last night’s 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl awards banquet, I was retrieving some maple glazed ham from the carving table situated at the far end of the large garden tent permanently attached to Park Tavern in Atlanta. Former U.S. international John Harkes—rumored to be the debut manager of the expansion Virginia Cavalry FC next...

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Chillin' at the Holiday Inn: New York Cosmos meet media on eve of NASL Soccer Bowl 2013

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM

The Carolina RailHawks aren’t in Atlanta for this weekend’s North American Soccer League championship, the self-explanatory Soccer Bowl 2013. But Neil Morris is there to provide his observations on the occasion and Saturday’s match between the New York Cosmos and Atlanta Silverbacks for Triangle Offense. ATLANTA—It took me 19 hours to reach Atlanta from North Carolina. That was my choice, mind you, the consequence of splitting up my southbound sojourn with an overnightlayover at my brother’s home in Charlotte. But the end of my trip came just in time for the early Friday afternoon meet-the-media session with select members of...

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soccerware: Carolina RailHawks complete 2013 campaign with 2-1 win over San Antonio, Clarke to return as manager in 2014

Posted By on Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 11:42 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—It’s as if 2013 came full circle for the Carolina RailHawks during their regular season finale against the San Antonio Scorpions Saturday night in Cary. The crowd of 6,015—the largest home attendance since the RailHawks’ win over the LA Galaxy on May 29 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup—was reminiscent of the sizable gates Carolina drew early in the season against the Galaxy, Pumas UNAM and, yes, San Antonio (6,708 saw the RailHawks and the Scorpions at WakeMed Soccer Park on May 11). On the field, Carolina put on a tactical and technical season retrospective: dominating...

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

RailHawks get the monkey off their back, defeat Atlanta Silverbacks 4-0

Posted By on Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—With two games left in the Carolina RailHawks’ 2013 campaign, there was only one NASL opponent they had not defeated this year: the Atlanta Silverbacks. In their three previous matchups, Carolina had lost once and tied twice. But the June 29 draw is undoubtedly the most impactful and memorable outcome. Carolina’s failure to get a win over Atlanta that night in Cary kept the RailHawks from clinching the league’s spring title. That missed opportunity became a full-blown collapse five days later when Carolina’s loss in San Antonio, coupled with Atlanta’s win in Minnesota, handed the spring crown...

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Watching another league: Did a misguided tweet betray the NASL fall season's most pressing problem?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."—Princess Leia, Star Wars A couple of weeks ago, Bill Peterson, commissioner of the North American Soccer League (NASL), told Pieter Brown of the South Florida-based weekly podcast Ultras Alive that Peterson resisted publicizing pronouncements about the league’s disciplinary process because he found the reality of punishing players and coaches “quite embarrassing.” I wonder how he feels about Twitter faux pas. Last Thursday, Charlie Cole, president of Ralph’s Mob, the official supporters group of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, issued a stream of tweets regarding...

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

No place like home: Carolina RailHawks stifle Strikers 2-0 to snap four game winless skid

Posted By on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:52 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—The flaccid first half of Saturday’s match between the Carolina RailHawks and Fort Lauderdale Strikers was a sort of soccer Rorschach test. For detractors, it was indicative of everything they dislike about “organized kickball.” For aficionados, it was an inelegant chess match, a back-and-forth between two teams who understood the importance of the game’s outcome and didn’t want cede a critical mistake. Of course, it’s hard to muster many mistakes both teams have only two off-target shots the entire half. And with league position and the reputation of the sport hanging in the balance, the RailHawks rose to the...

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weird science: Late RailHawks goal salvages 2-2 draw with Rowdies

Posted By on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—Both the Carolina RailHawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies continued individual unbeaten streaks in the wake of their 2-2 draw Saturday night in Cary. But only one team appeared in a celebratory mood. The Rowdies (2-5-0, 11 pts.) extended their overall unbeaten run to nine games, which now includes four wins and five draws. Meanwhile, the RailHawks (3-2-2, 11 pts.) ran their home unbeaten streak to 13 matches, with 11 wins and 2 draws over both NASL and U.S. Open Cup play in 2013. However, each team surrendered leads Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park, and by leaving...

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Hey Triangle, are you ready for some futball?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Photo by Joannah IrvinWith Brian Shriver looking on, Ty Shipalane looks for daylight during the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 win over Minnesota United FC on Aug. 24 at WakeMed Soccer Park in CaryBeyond the regular slate of high school football, most Triangle gridirons will remain quiet this weekend. Neither North Carolina nor N.C. State have games on their schedules—the Wolfpack is preparing to host No. 3 Clemson next Thursday, while the Tar Heels travels to Georgia Tech on Sept. 21. Both N.C. Central and Shaw are playing on the road. The only option for anyone needing to sate their appetite for...

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Defend the nest: RailHawks splinters Minnesota United 1-0

Posted By on Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Photo by Joannah IrwinJulius James (left) and Breiner Ortiz harass Minnesota's Simone Bracalello as Pablo Campos looks on. WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—On October 6, 2012, the Carolina RailHawks lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the first leg of the North American Soccer League (NASL) playoff semifinals. It’s the last time the RailHawks suffered defeat in a competitive match at WakeMed Soccer Park. Saturday evening in Cary, the RailHawks ground out a workmanlike 1-0 victory over Minnesota United FC. That now makes eight wins and one draw for Carolina out of nine league home matches. In addition, the RailHawks...

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Life of Brian: Shriver's scoring takes flight as Carolina RailHawks hosts Minnesota United FC

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

File photo by Rob KinnanBrian Shriver celebrates his game-winning goal during the Carolina RailHawks 3-2 victory over Minnesota United on June 22 at WakeMed Soccer ParkFor all the understandable gnashing of teeth over the Carolina RailHawks’ inability to convert goals with the same frequency and precision as the opportunities generated by their creative cadre of attacking midfielders, supporters risk overlooking the potent scoring pace of Brian Shriver. Before arriving in Carolina last season, the former North Carolina Tar Heels standout scored 10 goals in 49 appearances during his three-year stint with Miami FC-cum-Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Last year, a promising start...

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Little Town Blues: Brian Shriver's brace leads RailHawks to win over Cosmos

Posted By on Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Photo by Joannah IrvinNew York Cosmos defender Hunter Gorskie pleads his case after being whistled for a penalty during a 3-0 loss to the Carolina RailHawks Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NCWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “cosmos” as “an orderly harmonious systematic universe.” However, there was little that was orderly or harmonious Saturday evening when the New York Cosmos visited a soggy WakeMed Soccer Park to face the Carolina RailHawks. Through rain that oscillated between steady and misty throughout the night—and held an expected bumper attendance to merely 4,096 hardy souls—the teams grappled their way to...

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

RailHawks Reboot: Carolina defeats FC Edmonton 1-0 to open NASL Fall campaign

Posted By on Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Photo by Joannah IrvinBrian Shriver scrambles in front of goal during the Carolina RailHawks' 1-0 win over FC Edmonton Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NCWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/CARY—Saturday night marked the long-awaited return of an important member of the North American Soccer League (NASL) family, a club with a proud pedigree whose championship form was curtailed by an ignominious, disappointing demise. The occasion was accompanied by media coverage, pregame festivities, the return of several of the team’s important players and even atmospheric pyrotechnics. I’m referring, of course, to the Carolina RailHawks, which opened the NASL Fall Season with...

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

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