Carolina RailHawks News Release – www.carolinarailhawks.com
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
CARY, NC — The Carolina RailHawks announced today they will host one of Major League Soccer’s premier teams – the New England Revolution — in the first annual “Community Shield Match” at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, March 14, at 7:00 p.m. This match is the first big exhibition included in the new Carolina RailHawks 2009 “All-Inclusive” season ticket package. Individual tickets will go on sale in early February.
The New England Revolution is one of the most successful and star-studded teams in Major League Soccer, featuring perennial MLS all-stars in forward Taylor Twellman, midfielders Steve Ralston and Shalrie Joseph and goalkeeper Matt Reis. In the last seven years, the Revolution have been to six Eastern Conference finals and four MLS Cup finals.
The 2007 US Open Cup Champions and 2008 SuperLiga Champions will participate in community events with the RailHawks while in town. In addition, during that week, the Carolina RailHawks will announce other initiatives that are sure to excite the whole Triangle community.
The match will be the first big test for RailHawks new head coach Martin Rennie as he prepares for the 2009 USL-1campaign. This will also serve as the final test for the Revolution as they begin their 2009 MLS season in San Jose the following week.
“I’m very excited to make my WakeMed Stadium debut against such a quality side,” said Rennie. “This match will give us a chance to further evaluate our players and the team for the 2009 season.”
“We wanted to bring in another big team to start off the season,” said RailHawks President Brian Wellman. “With the New England Revolution we continue our tradition of bringing in great teams and players to our growing soccer community in this market.”
“Cary is a perfect location to conduct a portion of our preseason schedule – the weather, location – it’s just perfect for us,” Revolution head coach Steve Nicol said. “WakeMed Soccer Park is one of the best soccer-only stadiums in the country, and we’re excited to face the RailHawks again after a great game in the Open Cup two years ago. This trip will be a great way to wrap up our preseason and get ready to open our MLS season the following weekend.”
The Revolution roster is a who’s who of American soccer with Twellman, who is one of the most prolific goal-scorers in MLS with over 100 goals scored for New England and for the US Men’s National Team. Twellman currently leads the Revolution in goals scored, shots, game-winners and multi-goal games. Also of note is Captain Steve Ralston who is the current all-time leader in MLS games and minutes played and holds the franchise record in assists; as well as Matt Reis, arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the United States.
In addition, the Revolution feature several players with North Carolina ties, including Duke graduates Jay Heaps and Michael Videira, Wake Forest standouts Pat Phelan and Wells Thompson as well as Hickory Native and UNC-Wilmington graduate Brad Knighton.
This is the second time the RailHawks and New England meet. In 2007 the RailHawks traveled to New London, CT to face the Revolution in the semi-final of the US Open Cup. The Revolution won that match 2-1 in double-overtime and went on to win the trophy but not after 120 minutes of pure heartfelt soccer.
The Carolina RailHawks’ 2009 season ticket drive is in full swing with the “All-Inclusive” package, that includes this Major League Soccer exhibition, as well as other packages tailored to every soccer fan’s needs. For more information contact the LGFCU Box Office at 919-859-KICK (5425) or visit www.carolinarailhawks.com