2012 U.S. Open Cup Highlights: LA Galaxy vs Carolina RailHawks
CARSON, Calif. – A year ago, the LA Galaxy crashed out of the U.S. Open Cup in the Third Round after falling 2-1 to the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
This season, the Galaxy are going to get their shot at redemption on Wednesday night as they once again take on the RailHawks at WakeMed in the Third Round of the Open Cup. (4:15pm PT, TWC Deportes) The NASL side earned the right to host the Galaxy for a second straight year after knocking off inner-state rival Carolina Dynamo by a 3-1 score on Tuesday.
Although LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was initially furious about the idea of traveling across the country to open the tournament, he’s pleased that the Galaxy will take on an opponent that they are well-acquainted with.
“It’s at least a territory that we’re familiar with so we’ll make our plans to get there and hopefully win the game,” said Arena.
The defeat to the RailHawks last year still stings for the Galaxy, who led 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Pat Noonan, only to concede a pair of goals in the last 15 minutes and lose 2-1. The Galaxy drew considerable flak for falling to the second division side last year, but LA is not looking to repeat the mistakes of last year.
“We want to win. If winning is revenge then we want to win,” said midfielder Michael Stephens who went 90 minutes in the defeat to Carolina, which was played exactly one year prior to this year’s meeting. “We saw last year that they were a really good team and we had an experienced team that just got beat. We need to go in there and I don’t think we’ll be surprised because there are no excuses if we don’t win this game.”
Due to the Galaxy’s congested schedule, which will see LA take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium just four days after Open Cup match, it is likely that Arena opts for a lineup that intersperses starters and reserves.
Stephens, for one, is itching for the chance to see the field after making just six appearances in the Galaxy’s 11 league matches to date.
“Any time you get to play more serious minutes in real competitions with attention on us, I think all of us that don’t get significant minutes like that,” said Stephens. “We’ll come together and I think we’ll win the game.”
Should the Galaxy conquer the RailHawks, the travel issues will be a thing of the past as they’ll host the winner of the Chivas USA vs. Los Angeles Blues match-up on Wednesday, June 12 at the newly branded StubHub Center.
Before they think about facing Chivas USA or the Blues, they must dispatch a hungry RailHawks side that sits first in the NASL. As for those assumptions that the Galaxy don’t care about the competition, Stephens is quick to brush off those considerations.
“That’s not true,” said Stephens with a grin. “There’s about 16 of us that are going to go over there, this is our livelihood and we’re going to go over there and be ready.”
Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round game against the Carolina RailHawks will be shown live on Time Warner Cable Deportes. The game will kick off at 4:15 p.m. PT.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com