When: Sat., June 18 2011
The table-topping Carolina RailHawks return to friendly grounds this weekend for the club's only home game in June, looking to renew the rivalry with FC Tampa Bay. When the two teams last squared off two weeks ago in the Sunshine State, RailHawks players engaged in a not-so-cordial dialogue with the Mob, Tampa's ultra-fan section, after Carolina scored on a dubiously awarded penalty kick that proved to be the difference in the match. The "discussions" with fans continued after the final whistle as well, adding a little gas to the fire for this rematch.
Carolina, led by Maltese hitman Etienne Barbara, who's already been named league player of the month twice this year and has been shattering records for fun, will be looking to extend its ample lead atop the NASL standings. Tampa hopes to cling to the sixth and final playoff spot and will attempt to be the first team to shut the RailHawks out this season.
The NBA playoffs are complete. The NFL is locked out. There's only so much baseball a guy can take. And for those of you who say soccer doesn't have enough action, take note: The RailHawks haven't been shut out this season, are undefeated in 10 straight matches—a team record—and have scored two or more goals in six straight contests. Plus there's a beer garden, and you can get four tickets, food and drink for $49. —Joe Schwartz