After suffering the largest defeat in league history, the Carolina RailHawks will have to pick themselves up when the Tampa Bay Rowdies come to town Saturday night. The Rowdies are sure to provide a real test to the RailHawks, having taken maximum points from seven of their last eight league matches.
July 28, 2012 is a date that the RailHawks will want to forget. That night the side was on the wrong end of an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions in the fortress that is Heroes Stadium. The eight goal margin is the largest defeat the franchise has ever suffered, and is coincidentally the largest defeat in NASL history.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies fared better than Carolina in their last contest, defeating visiting FC Edmonton by a goal to nil at Al Lang Stadium last Saturday. The victory was the third straight win for the red-hot Rowdies, and their fifth win in a row at home. Daniel Antoniuk scored the game’s only goal on a cross from Mike Ambersley, the diminutive forward turning provider again for his fifth assist of the month.
When Tampa visits WakeMed, it will be just the second meeting between the two sides this season. Earlier in the year the team played out a 1-1 at Al Lang Stadium, with Brian Shriver and Tsuyoshi Yoshitake trading goals. Last season under Head Coach Martin Rennie, now of Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer, the RailHawks defeated the Rowdies in all four meeting between the sides, outscoring their opponents by a cumulative ten goals to three.
This season, the Rowdies will head to this match as favorites, though the RailHawks are no pushovers at home. The Florida side occupy second place in the standings, just two points behind San Antonio in first. The RailHawks occupy the sixth and final playoff position in the standings, with just FC Edmonton and the Atlanta Silverbacks below. Carolina cannot allow themselves dwell on the 8-0 loss for long, otherwise the gap separating them from the teams at the bottom can be expected to get even smaller.
Carolina RailHawks vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, August 4, 2012— 7:00 P.M. EDT
WakeMed Soccer Park
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: Tied, 0-1-0, 1 point
2012 Series: Carolina, 4-0-0, 12 points
Carolina Tampa Bay
Head Coach Colin Clarke Ricky Hill
2012 Records 6th: 6-6-6, 24 points 2nd: 10-3-6, 33 points
Last Five Games L W T W L W L W W W
Goals Leader Nick Zimmerman (9) Daniel Antoniuk (6)
Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (6)
Assists Leader Three players with (3) Mike Ambersley (7)
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