May 28, 2012
Cary, N.C. — ‘How many goals did you score again?’ RailHawks players heckled Brian Shriver as he came over for an interview.
The players were winding down after Sunday’s practice, laughing, kicking around with a few little kids and stretching some sore muscles.
Shriver laughed, he can’t expect anything else after scoring four goals in the RailHawks last game. But that was Tuesday; five days later the guys are still giving him a hard time about it.
A little friendly competition, motivation even, going into this Tuesday’s game against the LA Galaxy is a good thing.
“For me personally, it’s good for my confidence, score some goals and do what I can to help the team,” said Shriver. “We finally got our first win under the belt, so obviously we’re excited, we had a good week of training and hopefully that will carry over into the game.”
Shriver’s four goals helped the team to a 6-0 win over PSA Elite and advanced them to the third round of U.S. Open Cup play. After taking a year off from competing in the cup, the NASL league rejoined action this year.
“It’s a big game, Open Cup is a unique competition in this country where teams that are amateur can play against professionals and teams from different leagues can play against each other,” said head coach Colin Clarke. “Now we have a chance to play with the so-called ‘big boys’ from the MLS, and we get the plum tie with the LA Galaxy coming to town.”
Though the Cup games are intertwined among regular season games, the team doesn’t treat them any different.
“We prepare the same way, we’ve been playing better of late, we’ve had a few good performances and we want to continue to build on that,” said Clarke. “But it’s a game where there’s no pressure on us, it’s on them.”
“We still want to play our game and do what we’ve been trying to do all season and that is to stay compact, play good defense, play attractive soccer and score goals,” said Shriver.
And attractive soccer is exactly what the sell-out crowd is hoping for. With the Galaxy coming to town Tuesday, one of major league soccer’s best players could be taking the field, David Beckham. The team cannot confirm who will be playing until game time but unlike fellow Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who is away on US team duties, Beckham could make the trip.
With ticket demand so high for the game the organization expedited opening the new North Stand and received approval for occupancy on Friday at 3:30 PM. The additional available seats sold out by Saturday morning.
“Anytime you can sell-out the place is obviously exciting for a player, makes for a great atmosphere and it’s definitely a lot more fun,” said Shriver.
“It’s a chance for us to show the people of the Triangle what we’re about, how good a team we are and hopefully some of those fans and supporters will be back at games later on in the year,” said Clarke.