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Soccer

RailHawks continue to improve in preparation of season

Posted January 11, 2013

— The Carolina RailHawks released their 2013 schedule Thursday and an exciting match-up with major league soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps FC will kick it off on February 24.

Not only will fans be able to see a major league team and former RailHawks head coach Martin Rennie in the match, they'll also notice the expansion and improvements to Wake Med Soccer park are complete.

The park has increased stadium seating, new team facilities, restrooms, concessions and multipurpose space in a new three-story building on the stadium’s east side.

"There is an open air party deck in the expanded east side, for the 20, 30, 40-year-olds who want to come out and enjoy an adult beverage while watching the game," said president Curt Johnson. "It will bring more of an MLS atmosphere to the park and should be a lot of fun for the fans."

The stadium isn't the only facet of the RailHawks that received off-season attention, Johnson said the team is continuing to work on their roster in order to bring the most competitive team to the field.

"We have a lot of players who have ties to the area, like Brian Ackley and Zach Schilawski, that are from here or played around here in college. And we brought back a lot of the core group from last season," said Johnson. "We still have a few roster spots to fill and we are very close to announcing the signing of a big time player that has done a lot in the league."

This season also brings a complete shake-up to the format of play. NASL play will be divided into a spring and fall tournament with a tournament champion from each tournament advancing to the Soccer Bowl championship.

"It creates two competitions to make it to the finals, which I think will really put a lot of pressure on the coaches and the players to win games and be a little bit more aggressive and offensive on the field, in a sense creating more exciting opportunities throughout the year," NASL commissioner Bill Peterson.

Which Johnson says will favor the RailHawks high scoring style of play.

Peterson, a Smithfield native, begins his first year as NASL commissioner and says that along with the addition of the Cosmos team to the fall season of play, soccer fans can expect an announcement soon on another team that will join the league. Two teams are already scheduled to join in the 2014 season, Peterson hopes to add two teams a season across the United States until they reach a 20 team league.

He hopes that the additional teams will follow in the footsteps of Carolina.

"I'm very impressed with the [RailHawks] organization and what their plan is and how they are starting to connect with all of the people in the area, it's exciting because they are growing at a really nice pace, we think this will be one of our model franchises," said Peterson.

I have some roots in the area, so for me it's important that this is a very successful club and I'm confident that they will be and for me that's exciting to be able to come back to this region and see what they're doing and be so successful."

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
4th
WAKE 3
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 14
 
3rd
MARS 21
FATL 16
 
3rd
PITT 21
GT 35
 
3rd
SMISS 10
LATU 17
 
3rd
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 17
MSST 24
 
4th
STAN 35
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 40
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 17
 
Half
WKENT 42
ODU 30
 
3rd
UTST 17
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 17
TEMPL 7
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14