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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

RailHawks return to field tonight in Montreal for Round 2 against Impact

Posted by on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Enough about the sale of the USL for now. The RailHawks, presumably refreshed from a couple of days of blissful francophilia (or would that be quebecoisophilia?), return to Saputo Stadium for a rematch of Sunday's 1-1 draw. (Stat box here.)

At stake: Both teams are trying to solidify their spots in the playoffs. The RailHawks have sole possession of second place while Montreal, thanks to the recent collapse of Miami, seem safely in the playoffs. They're in sixth place, but they're fighting to stay ahead of Vancouver to avoid a first-round matchup with the RailHawks.

Sunday's 1-1 tie was a tale of two halves. Those of us watching at home on usllive.com couldn't help but notice the 12,000+ fans who were in attendance, but fortunately, that impressive turnout wasn't enough to urge the Impact to victory. Montreal dominated the first, with Adam Braz exploiting a gap in the RailHawks defense to cross to the head of Tony Donatelli for their goal. John Cunliffe pulled one back in the second half on one of the season's more dazzling displays of individual effort. After his 63rd-minute strike, he put his finger to his lips just like Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin and there actually was a critical mass of fans to be gratifyingly silenced.

The crowd will surely be smaller tonight, as even French-speaking people with superior health care need to work during the week. Eric Reed should be in the goal, but, aside from Mark Schulte and Jeremy Tolleson in the central defense, all bets are off on the rest of the lineup. Game time is 7:45 p.m.; watch it on usllive.com.

Notes:

  • Forward Aaron King, who struggled to find traction in the RailHawks lineup this season, transferred to Miami over the weekend. He logged 195 minutes in six appearances, and also spent part of the season on loan to USL-2 Wilmington.
  • Yesterday, Joseph Kabwe was named USL-1 player of the week, thanks to his hat trick in the 9-0 shellacking of Miami. John Cunliffe also made the team of the week after scoring two goals—one in the Miami game and one against Montreal Sunday.

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