The Carolina RailHawks bowed out of the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. With the defeat, the RailHawks fell one game short of matching their Semifinal run in 2007. Major League Soccer side, Real Salt Lake, advances to the Semifinal Round on goals from defenders Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert, and striker Alvaro Saborio.
Real Salt Lake got on the board in the 26th minute when Beltran received the ball on the right side of the field and struck a screamer through the crowded box and into the goal past RailHawks goalkeeper Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald would go on to make a number of gravity-defying saves to keep the RailHawks in the game.
In the second half, Salt Lake continued their dominate play that resulted in goals from Wingert in the 51st minute and a clinical header from Saborio in the 85th to preserve the victory.
With a huge NASL matchup looming with the Atlanta Silverbacks, the RailHawks elected to have starting eleven regulars Zack Schilawski, Brian Shriver, Austin da Luz, Floyd Franks, and Paul Hamilton available as substitutes for Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match. The RailHawks finish the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with 3 wins, 0 ties, and 1 loss, including victories over MLS sides LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. The RailHawks were also without the services of injured regulars Tiyi Shipalane and Julius James.
The RailHawks will return to WakeMed Soccer Park following the U.S. Open Cup match on Saturday, June 29th when they will host Southern-rival, Atlanta Silverbacks at 7:30pm. Prior to the match, the RailHawks will host the Second Annual Pregame Pig Pickin’ Festival at WakeMed Soccer Park starting at 4:45pm. The match will then kick off at 7:00pm, with the RailHawks being able to capture the NASL Spring Season title with a victory over Atlanta. Immediately following the match, a Fireworks Extravaganza will take place, where fans will be able to join RailHawks players on the field. Tickets are available for the Pig Pickin’ and June 29th match by contacting the St. Lawrence Homes Box Office by calling (919) 459-8144 or e-mailing Tickets@CarolinaRailHawks.com.