CARY, N.C. – The LA Galaxy were knocked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open at the first hurdle for the second straight year, losing 2-0 on Wednesday night to the Carolina RailHawks in front of a record crowd at WakeMed Soccer Park. Austin da Luz and Brian Shriver scored goals two minutes apart early in the second half to pull off the upset for Carolina, who had beaten the Galaxy 2-1 in the Third Round of the 2012 Open Cup exactly one year ago.
The Galaxy controlled possession in the opening 45 minutes but chances were hard to come by for both sides. Michael Stephens fired over the bar early on while Jose Villarreal sent a shot wide from the center of the box, sending the teams into the halftime break tied 0-0.
The game remained scoreless until just before the hour mark when Austin da Luz collected a cross from Zack Schilawski and fired a right-footed shot on goal from the edge of the box. Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who was making his U.S. Open Cup debut, appeared to make the save, only for the ball to squeeze underneath him and just over the line to give Carolina a 1-0 lead.
Not content to sit back, the RailHawks doubled their lead two minutes later when Schilawski was once again the provider, playing fellow forward Brian Shriver, whose late winner beat the Galaxy last season, in behind the LA defense and allowing him to beat Rowe just inside the far post, making the score 2-0 in the 61st minute.
Having already sent on Gyasi Zardes, Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo sent on Robbie Rogers in an effort to kick start his team’s attack and get back into the game. However, it was not to be. While LA outshot Carolina 10-7 on the night, it took until the 71st minute for the visitors to record their first and only shot on goal of the game, only to see RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald save a tame effort from Zardes.
With the win, Carolina advances to Fourth Round of the Open Cup where they will take on Chivas USA on Wednesday, June 12.
The Galaxy will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (PT) when they take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in a game that will be shown live nationally on NBC Sports Network. Additional broadcast information is available at www.lagalaxy.com/live.