It’s been nearly a week since the RailHawks' unbeaten streak came to an end in Montreal and things have been fairly quiet. No more.
The RailHawks kick off at 8 p.m. at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, where the Islanders have lost only once this season and where the have outscored their opposition 27-11.
Carolina will be playing with history against them: Never have the ’Hawks defeated Puerto Rico, at home or abroad. The RailHawks will be playing without coach Martin Rennie on the sideline, due to the red card he received in the Montreal loss.
And if that weren't enough, the RailHawks are clinging to second place by their fingernails talons. They're two points ahead of the third-place Islanders, who have a game in hand. A point is surely a must if they want to hang on to the top seed for the first round of the playoffs.
Given the way the odds are stacked tonight, we're betting on a defensive mindset. It's unlikely that Rennie would actually acknowledge playing for a draw, so maybe we can tweak the semantics and say "play cautiously for a win without losing." We've been wrong before, but we're still betting on seeing two defensive midfielders—Brad Rusin and Amir Lowery—in the lineup tonight.
Or the RailHawks could win 4-0 with an attacking lineup. We'll see. Tune into usllive.com at 8 p.m. We'll be catching it later, though, because we're watching ZIDANE: A 21ST CENTURY PORTRAIT at Duke tonight.
In a USL-related news tidbit, the talk of the Montreal Impact getting the 19th franchise in the MLS took a new twist. The New York Times' Jack Bell confides that an unnamed source claims David Beckham is interested in partnering with Montreal owner Joey Saputo. Like a lot of Bell’s reporting, it's a little credulous, but here it is.