Season Opener Available on ESPN3
The Carolina RailHawks will travel to Indianapolis to face expansion side, Indy Eleven on Saturday, April 12th at 7:30pm. The RailHawks season opener will be available through NASLLive.com along with the four other NASL matches to kicking off the 2014 NASL Regular Season.
The NASL announced this week that Saturday’s matchup between Carolina and Indy will begin a new partnership with ESPN3, broadcasting the NASL Game of the Week. ESPN3 reaches a nationwide audience and is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
“We are ready to get the season started,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “It’s going to be important to make sure we start the 9-game Spring season on with a good result. From what I read it sounds like it’s going to be a fun environment to play in and we look forward to creating a new rivalry within the league.”
RailHawks fans watching around the world will see familiar faces from last year’s squad that claimed the most points over the 2013 NASL Spring and Fall Seasons along with new players. Colin Clarke’s side is expected to start four new starters. Among them are central defenders Daniel Scott and Connor Tobin who will team up with returning netminder Akira Fitzgerald to anchor the defense. Defender Kupono Low is expected to make his 194th appearance for the club.
Under Clarke, the RailHawks have become known for their fast paced attack led by midfielder Tiyi Shipalane. Clarke is not short of attacking options with Shipalane, Cesar Elizondo, Enzo Martinez and Zack Schilawski returning to the roster. New additions including Aaron King, Daniel Jackson and Nazmi Albadawi bring depth in the attack and all with the ability to score.
Strength in the Midfield
Under Colin Clarke, the RailHawks have continued to find their strength across the middle of the field. RailHawks fans should expect to see something similar in 2014. The new addition of Jun Marques Davidson paired with Nick Millington provides a stout central midfield that will allow the RailHawks attackers to push forward. Tiyi Shipalane always poses a dangerous threat down the flanks from his wide midfield position. Under Clarke, Shipalane has turned into a 90 minute threat that can beat defenders with his speed and his passing ability. Martinez, Elizondo, Albadawi and Jackson all possess a play-making ability that can setup or score goals at any moment in the match.
Opening on the Road
In the previous two seasons under Clarke, the RailHawks have opened each of them on the road. In 2012, the RailHawks played Minnesota in the Metrodome and drew 0-0. Last year, they traveled to Tampa Bay and drew 0-0 against the Rowdies. The RailHawks ended 2013 with a 3-game win streak and will look to carry that momentum into Saturday’s match. With only four games in the 9-game Spring Season at WakeMed Soccer Park, the results of their five away matches will be of the most importance in the RailHawks Spring Season sprint.