Struggling in league play and missing several players for national team duty, the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy could not have picked a much better opponent on paper than the Carolina RailHawks, who were winless in the NASL. But trips east of the Mississippi River continue to be an issue as they saw the second division side rally for a surprising 2-1 victory Tuesday evening.
Even without the world-renown stars in the lineup, the Galaxy had plenty of experience in the lineup and started the game like the favorites with a goal 38 minutes in. An Austen King pass was stolen and delivered to Chad Barrett, who proceeded to find Pat Noonan with a cross for the former US international’s fourth career Open Cup tally having scored three times with New England previously.
The game began to turn with the insertion of Ty Shipalane – who along with Noonan is a former Michigan Buck – in the 66th minute. The South African, who was a member of the 2009 Harrisburg City Islanders when they knocked off the New England Revolution 2-1, took less than 10 minutes to find an equalizer, beating the Galaxy from the right side and firing past CONACACAF Champions League veteran goalkeeper Bill Gaudette in the 75th minute. Zack Schilawski set up the goal, notching his third assist in the tournament this year.
With overtime looming, the Shipalane reversed roles two minutes from time for the game-winner. Shipalane dashed up the right side and sent a floating cross into the box, finding Brian Shriver, who scored four in last week’s 6-0 rout of USASA’s PSA Elite, for the finish. His header was initially stopped by Gaudette, who was facing his former Puerto Rico Islanders head coach Colin Clarke, but the momentum carried the rebound over the goal line.
The loss leaves the Galaxy, one of the league’s most successful teams, without a win in the club’s last six US Open Cup games east of the Mississippi River, suffering losses now to the RailHawks, Richmond Kickers (2007), Chicago Fire (2006, 2003), Minnesota Thunder (2004), Columbus Crew (2002). Their lone win in the east is a 4-0 victory over Minnesota to begin the 2002 tournament in the Third Round.
The RailHawks move on to play host to Chivas USA of MLS in the Fourth Round, giving them the opportunity to sweep the two Los Angeles-based clubs despite being located on the opposite coast.
Carolina RailHawks 2:1 Los Angeles Galaxy
WakeMed Soccer Park – Cary, NC
LAG: Noonan (Barrett), 38
CAR: Shipalane (Schilawski), 75
CAR: Shriver (Shipalane), 88
Carolina RailHawks: GK Burse, D Elenio, D Agbossoumonde, D King, D Low (c), M Zimmerman, M Lowery, M Ortiz (Shipalane, 66), M Da Luz, F Schilawski (Garey, 82), F Shriver (Substitute, Time)
LA Galaxy: GK Gaudette, D Lopes, D Meyer, D Leonardo, D Gaul (Garcia, 71), M Sarvas, M Jimenez (Jordan, 44), M Stephens, M Nakazawa, F Barrett (Magee, 65), F Noonan (c)
CAR: Shipalane, 72
LAG: Garcia, 83